Latitude / Longitude:
34° 28′ 30 N, 84° 1′ 24 W
1,401 ft (427 m)
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Auraria is a ghost town in Lumpkin County, Georgia, United States, southwest of Dahlonega. Its name derives from aurum, the Latin word for gold. In its early days, it was also known variously as Dean, Deans, Nuckollsville, and Scuffle Town.
Thousands of settlers came to these former Cherokee lands in search of gold during the Georgia Gold Rush, and following the Gold Lottery of 1832. One of the first gold rush boom towns started here in June 1832, when William Dean built a cabin between the Chestatee River and Etowah River. The temporary seat of Lumpkin County in 1832, Nathaniel Nuckolls built a tavern, hotel, and several buildings to house the miners. Within six months of the lottery, “one hundred family dwellings, eighteen or twenty stores, twelve or fifteen law offices, and four or five taverns” were to be found in the town. The population was 1,000 by May 1833, and 10,000 were in the county.
There are still a few old buildings standing: the collapsing Graham Hotel (in ruins; very unsafe to enter); Woody’s store at Castleberry Bridge Road, that remained open till the early 1980s; a red house that was once a bank; another house across the street; and a couple of foundations. They stand in lone testament to the 19th century gold rush.