Georgia is a state located on the southeastern side of the United States of America. It borders Florida to the south, South Carolina to the north, and Alabama to the west. It was part of the thirteen colonies that fought against the British in the American Revolution and eventually signed independence in 1776. Twelve years later, on January 2, 1788, Georgia became the 4th state to join the United States.
There are 34 ghost towns in Georgia. The area was popular for fertile agricultural land, river traveling, and transportation benefits. The Georgia Gold Rush created room for possibility, abandonment, and desertion.
With the changes in society, war, and the Industrial Revolution, many Georgia towns have been dubbed ghost towns.
Auraria is a ghost town in Lumpkin County, Georgia. The name came from the Latin word aurum, translating to the word gold. People settled in this area when the Georgia Gold Rush started in 1828. Miners from other towns and mines in nearby areas rushed to the future site of Auraria as word spread quickly of the gold abundance being discovered.
The closest city to Auraria is Dahlonega, about 5.9 miles upstate. Auraria was founded or, better said, discovered in 1832 when one of the first gold miners decided to build a cabin there. Within the following year, the town’s population grew to 1,000. With the Gold Lottery established to divide the land among Georgians, many people were given access to the gold.
After the Inferior Court picked up some land just north of Auraria in 1833, some local business owners decided to relocate, which caused a population decline. Within the next 15 years, gold was found on the west coast, and the California Gold Rush began.
The only person in Auraria that could perform authenticity tests on gold followed the rush and moved to California. With no authenticator locally available and a new gold rush booming in California, Auraria began its decline.
In the 1970s, the community was still strong but not exactly thriving. There were still some families living in the town, fewer than 350 people. Some houses and old structures can be seen, but they might not be safe to enter.
Ebenezer is located in Effingham County, Georgia. It was established in 1734 with the arrival of German protestant refugees. The town set up many silk mills that helped the economy thrive. By 1778, with the British invasion during the American revolutionary war, the city was seriously damaged to the point that it could never fully recover.
Rincon is the nearest city to Ebenezer, located 8.7 miles away. Ebenezer acted as the capital of Georgia for some time in 1782, but by 1855 it had been completely abandoned. Many of the buildings and churches are still in good condition. The Ebenezer Townsite and the Jerusalem Lutheran Church are historical places in the United States.
Rough and Ready, known as Mountain View, Georgia, is now considered a ghost town. As part of Clayton County, it adjoins Forest Park, Fulton County, and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The closest city is Forest Park, which is only 2.3 miles away.
The town of Rough and Ready was founded in the 19th century; its name came from a tavern that served as temporary headquarters during the Atlanta Campaign. The name was changed to Mountain View once it became a city in 1956, as the mountains were visible from the townsite location.
The City of Atlanta Department of Aviation bought enough land to build an airport. Mountain View became so noisy with the new airport that people chose to relocate. After 20 years, the city lost its charter and was dissolved. However, many people and businesses remain in the city despite noise pollution.
Troupville is in Lowndes County, Georgia, with the closest populated area being Wood Valley, only 2.1 miles away. Troupville was founded in the early 1800s, and its economy came from hotels, stores, shops, churches, and other types of business.
This town was a riverboat landing as it was right where the Withlacoochee River and the Little River met, but by 1859, railroads had become more practical and were replacing river landings. With the building of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad in Lowndes County, riverboats were no longer necessary. Troupville then lost its charter, and many people went away to more prosperous areas.
There is not enough information to confirm whether people still live in Troupville, but as of 1874, it was described as a deserted village.
Petersburg is located in Wilkes County, Georgia, known as Elbert County, and was founded in 1786 to serve Georgia’s Broad River Valley region. It thrived during 1790 due to its location in the confluence of Broad River and Savannah River.
Two hundred years ago, the city of Petersburg was the biggest competition to Augusta. The town was noticeable for its welcoming residents, among other qualities. In terms of economy, it was known for its tobacco inspection station and bustling commercial town.
Petersburg had a short life compared to other towns and cities since it didn’t fully develop until after the American Revolution. At the beginning of the 1800s, the population started to decline. As more and more residents continued to move away, the lands were used for agricultural business.
Initially, tobacco was the chief source of agriculture, but cotton replaced it in later years. Unfortunately, the steamboats used for cotton couldn’t make it as far up above Augusta. With the construction of railroads, places like Petersburg were not ideal locations anymore. The post office was one of the last businesses active before it was moved to Lisbon, Georgia, in 1844 and ultimately closed in 1855.
The land used to serve as Petersburg is now an artificial reservoir at Lake Strom Thurmond. Next to it, there’s a park called Bobby Brown State Outdoor Recreation Area, which is an excellent location for camping. And even though this land is almost entirely submerged, when the water levels are low, you might be lucky to glimpse what Petersburg used to be.
Many present-day ghost towns prove the changes society has gone through over the years. Advancement, mining, and war were the culprits in most of these Georgia towns.