History Mysteries

The Legendary Gold of the Cherokee



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THE LEGENDARY GOLD OF THE CHEROKEE

Looking for gold? You might want to try Georgia.

Gold in north Georgia is well documented. Cherokee Indians and Spanish miners panned for gold in north Georgia until the 1700's. The Georgia gold rush started in 1829 and brought many treasurer hunters. The Cherokee Indians controlled the land where gold was found.

The Georgia legislature started planning to take the gold fields from the Cherokee people almost immediately after the onset of the Georgia gold rush. After a long and bitter legal battle, the Cherokee Indians were forced to move west in a cruel march. The march is called the Trail of Tears or The Trail Where they Cried and cost the lives of 4000 Cherokee men, women, and children. Because the Cherokee people were allowed to take very little, it is believed they buried their gold. Thus the legends of Cherokee gold begin.

The Legend has gold hidden in creeks, in caves, and in the ground.

One story is that gold was buried in the creek beds of Scarecorn Creek, Talking Rock Creek, and Shallow Rock Bridge Creek. Another story involves buried gold under the bed of the Chattahoochee.

A very popular story takes place in a cave 10 minutes outside Toccoa, Georgia. This story includes a bus driver, a Cherokee Indian man, and a cave in a mountain. The bus driver and the Cherokee Indian man became friends. The man takes his bus driver friend to a cave in a mountain, shows him a pile of gold, and tells the friend to take all the gold he can carry. Ten minutes later, the bus driver is back at the bus station in Toccoa, Georgia. It is said that other friends of the driver actually saw the nuggets. The cave has never been found.

The Creek Indians also have a story of buried gold. William McIntosh, a half-Scot, half-Creek sold Creek lands to the government in 1835 for a large amount of gold. It is believed that McIntosh buried the gold. Angry Creek Indians killed William McIntosh and the gold was never found.

Does it seem reasonable that the Cherokee people would bury gold? We think it does. The Cherokee Indians were intelligent and well organized. They built schools, churches and roads. They had a representative form of government. This was a surely a people with enough sophistication and intelligence to understand the value of gold.

Should you join the search for this legendary treasure, we cannot promise you gold. We can promise you beautiful scenery and amazing trails. Many historical organizations are waiting to make your trip a success. Visit the Cherokee County Historical Society in Canton, Georgia, and the Funk Heritage Center between Canton and Adairsville. Don't miss the New Echota State Park in Calhoun, Georgia. Watch for gold.

More about this author: Brunhilde Klein

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