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Gold Rush Era Cabin

Welcome to the official Virtual Dedication of the 1832 Gold Rush Era Cabin! Here, you can find various information and media from the Georgia Appalachian Studies Center's service learning project. The cabin is now located at UNG's Vickery House, the final destination of the cabin's long journey. Within the site, visitors can see biographical summaries of all community partners and volunteers involved, great articles covering the cabin relocation and overall project, and plenty of exciting additional video footage. The 1830s Gold Rush Era Cabin is a fantastic edition to the university and community as a whole and has so much history and culture to offer to all who wish to learn. Please come in, explore and ENJOY!


Imagine a cabin

We live in an amazing place. Our Appalachian community and its mountains hold many stories and songs of struggle, triumph, tragedy, comedy, and affection. Traditions of art, music, gardening, and craft are still known and taught. But for how much longer will this knowledge shared? And with whom? How do we put it within reach of our community and beyond? How can our current generation learn about the past in ways that engage in the present and inspire for the future?

One way is through the 1832 Gold Rush Cabin here at North Georgia College & State University.

A rare and valuable artifact, this tool for teaching and learning is now located on the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega campus. Envision this 16 x 20 cabin, simply furnished and nestled on a green lawn. It’s flanked by beautiful pecan trees and fronted by a stage ample enough for campus or community events like historical dramas, weaving demonstrations, bluegrass music concerts, or old-time dance performances.

After its restoration, this simple structure and its stage will serve as a classroom for the university and community, a venue for sharing Appalachian culture as it was in the past and as it is lived now, engaging and inspiring all participants, whether they are the teachers or the learners.

What songs we will share. What tales we will tell. What lessons we will teach.

Watch our short YouTube video, Imagine a Cabin!

To learn more about and how you might be involved, contact Dr. Alice Sampson.

Community Partners and Contributors


Lumpkin County Historical Society

The Lumpkin County Historical Society has been instrumental in aiding us in gathering information and resources on the history of the cabin. Mr. and Mrs. Smulian who donated the cabin to the GASC are members of the Historical Society, and they have provided us with stories and records about the extensive history of the cabin. Chris Worick, who has written 2 books on the 1829 Gold Rush and is the go to man for anything to do with the gold rush in Lumpkin County has helped by providing us with interesting stories and helping us keep the cabin as close to the original structure as possible. We appreciate all of the research and help that the members of the Lumpkin County Historical Society has been able to provide us with!

Picking Porch

The Picking Porch is a group of local musicians of all ages who come together every Tuesday and Thursday from 12.45 to 2 pm at the Vickery House to perform old time and bluegrass music. Anyone is welcome to join and play or listen.  

Arthur Morgan Middle School

The Arthur Morgan Middle School is progressive boarding school in Burnesville NC which focuses not only on academics but service learning and allowing every student to grow and learn by allowing them to have a consensus on their activities and be active within their surrounding communities. Every year they do field trips where they go out into the Appalachian Region, and this year we were lucky enough to have them visit. Led by Bogy Patton (a Dahlonega local and NGCSU graduate) the students worked closely with the Lumpkin County Historical Society to interview and record people’s stories from Lumpkin County’s past. They hoped to hammer nails and help build the cabin, but they instead helped us document the cabin’s colorful past and build on our knowledge of historical information. They also made documentary videos of their travels through Southern Appalachia.


Cabin Relocation Project

  • Jim and Betty Smulian, Cabin Donors
  • Jace Oliver, Project Manager, Plant Operations, North Georgia
  • Todd Bermann, Director, Plant Operations, North Georgia
  • Robert O. Michael, Dean, School of Education, North Georgia
  • Andrew Leavitt, Vice President for Advancement, North Georgia
  • James Thompson, State Manager, Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Matt, Robin, & Mark Millard, Architects and Designers, Millard, Inc.
  • David Looper and Loopers House Movers
  • Charles Dunn and Bob Reynolds, Dunn Construction
  • Daniel Raines & Bill Summerour
  • Anonymous Donor  

Event Co-hosts and Partners

  • North Georgia Students, Introduction to Appalachia
  • Staff and Volunteers, Georgia Appalachian Studies Center
  • Lumpkin County Historical Society
  • School of Education, North Georgia
  • Picking Porch Band
  • Volunteer Demonstrators from North Georgia and Community
  • North Georgia Students, Department of Visual Arts (DOVA)
  • Door Prize Donors

Additional Supporters and Volunteers

  • Will Munhenke, Filmmaker, “One More Journey,” North Georgia
  • Alex and Cheryl Tomlinson, Musicians, “One More Journey” Soundtrack
  • Randall Pinson, Photographer, “Cabin Move,” North Georgia
  • Paul Dunlap & Students, "Imagine a Cabin,” Photography, North Georgia
  • Sharon Hall, Writer, and Wayne Knuckles, Editor/Publisher, The Dahlonega Nugget
  • Ron Martz, Advisor, The Saint, North Georgia
  • Jarred Meeks, “Cabin Move” Video, 5th Grade, Lumpkin County Elementary
  • Manny Carvalho, Smulian Interviews, Lumpkin County Historical Society
  • Arthur Morgan School, “Thompson Family Interviews” Project, Burnsville, NC
  • Jon Mehlferber, Designer, "Ghost Cabin" Project, DOVA, North Georgia
  • Intro to Appalachia Students, Writers, Georgia Appalachian Studies Center Blog
  • Roger Head & Johnny Ledford, “Ghost Cabin” Project, Physical Plant, NGCSU
  • Van Pickelsimer & Todd Skinner, Ghost Cabin” Project, Physical Plant, NGCSU
  • Paul Bricker & Wind Chapman, Volunteers, Ghost Cabin” Project
  • Dub Strickland & Arienne Wallace, Volunteers, Ghost Cabin” Project
  • Craig Wilson, Advisor & Director, "Exploring Appalachia" Mural Project, DOVA
  • Donna Brown, Producer, “Vickery House Teaching Posters” Project
  • Danielle Thompson, Artist, “The Cabin” Painting
  • Sarah Edwards, “Vickery House Historic Structure” Project
  • Mel Hawkins & Lynn Young, Mountain Music & Medicine Show
  • Jorie Berman & Students, Demonstrators, Ceramics Program, DOVA
  • Jo-Marie Karst & Students, Demonstrators, Weaving Program, DOVA
  • Jan Stansell, Demonstrator, Chair-caning and Basket-weaving
  • Bill Findley, Demonstrator, Gold Panning, North Georgia
  • Hillary Turner, Photographer, Cabin Dedication
  • Jay Stone, Dahlonega General Store
Cabin Media

Photos of Cabin Move

News Articles

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