Helen Georgia History Is Shades of Gold

Years before visitors flocked to Helen Georgia for its Bavarian shops and restaurants, they came to get rich.

It all began in 1828 when Frank Logan first discovered gold at Dukes Creek. Word spread quickly and soon the entire region, from the Nacoochee-Helen Valley west to Dahlonega, was wrapped up in the Great Georgia Gold Rush.

Thousands of hopeful miners descended on our area in the early 1800’s in hopes of striking it rich—and for a while, many did. White’s County, where Lucille’s is located, was home to many of the wealthiest operations, including Loud’s Mine—reported to be the first gold mine here—as well as Gordon’s and Lumsden. Though the initial swarm of hopeful miners started dwindling out in the 1830’s, mining continued on in some form for another century. During that time, thousands of pounds of nugget were extracted and Helen’s rich history was made.

Today visitors can get a sense of what mining was like by visiting Dukes Creek Gold and Ruby Mines, a well-known North Georgia mine on the site of the original gold discovery. The current operation has been going for more than 40 years and is rich in gold, rubies and sapphires. You can try your hand panning for gold in the river, or take a more sedate approach and browse the gift shop’s stash of gems.

Dukes Creel Gold and Ruby Mine
6145 Helen Highway
Sautee Nacoochee

Open daily during season, 10:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. Be sure to call ahead before visiting.
Come for a visit and discover another treasure right here: Lucille’s! We’ll make you feel like a million bucks.