Originally incorporated as Talonega in 1833, Dahlonega, pronounced "Dah-lahn-e-ga", grew out of a fever for gold. When prospectors found the coveted metal in the area, a flood of hopeful miners rushed to the area in the 1820s. Fittingly, the name "Dahlonega" is Cherokee for "golden color" or "yellow money". In fact, the city still has places where visitors can recreationally pan for gold.
The Dahlonega Gold Museum, the state's oldest public building, is housed in the old Lumpkin County courthouse. The building holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places.