Lumpkin County was officially established in 1832. Named in honor of Wilson Lumpkin, who served in both state houses, as governor, and the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. The county was carved out of what were then Cherokee, Hall, and Habersham counties. This courthouse was built in 1836. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the State of Georgia. This courthouse was in use until 1965, when a new courthouse was built. The current building was converted to house the gold museum honoring the discovery of gold in Georgia and the resulting gold rush.
According to the Historical Marker on the courthouse square in Dahlonega, Georgia:
This court house, built in 1836, replaced the small log structure used since the establishment of Lumpkin County in 1832. The town was named Dahlonega in October, 1833, for the Cherokee word “Talonega” meaning “golden.”
From its steps in 1849, Dr. M.F. Stephenson, assayor at the Mint, attempted to dissuade Georgia miners from leaving to join the California gold rush. His oration gave rise to the sayings: “There´s millions in it,” and “Thar´s gold in them thar hills.”