Digital Library of Georgia > "Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills": Gold and Gold Mining in Georgia, 1830s-1940s

Announcement of the Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mining Company, Dahlonega, Ga.
Pages 33-38

Author: Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mining Company
Extent: 1 v. (64 p.)
publisher: Crandall-Bradt Printing Co.
publication place: Chattanooga
date: 1899
Repository: Lake Blackshear Public Library System
repository: Chestatee Regional Library System, Lumpkin County Branch
collection: Madeleine K. Anthony Collection
box: III-6
folder: 7
More information: About the Digitized Version

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REPORT ON THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM OF THE DAHLONEGA CONSOLIDATED GOLD MINING COMPANY. By G. F. Rendall, M. E. [Mining Engineer], Liverpool, England.

GENTLEMEN: -- The properties in question lie in and around Dahlonega, Georgia, U. S. A. Forty years ago Prof. [Professor] Blake, of Yale College, was sent to report on the gold field and water power [waterpower] available. He considered this the largest and most uniform deposit of gold in America, and a company was formed in Boston with a capital of $1,000,000.

This company purchased what is now known as the Hand property, but before work began the Civil War broke out. During the war the Boston men lost confidence and Mr. Hand purchased the bulk and subsequently the entire stock of the company, and was for years engaged in developing the gold fields, building ditches, damming the rivers, and constructing roads.




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In Lumpkin county the principal streams are the Yahoola river, Cane creek and the Etowah river, all flowing into the Chestatee river. The Yahoola canal, taken from high up the Yahoola river, furnishes in and around Dahlonega 1,200 to 1,500 miners' inches of water at a head of 301 feet. Cane Creek, where it crosses the belt, furnishes good mill power. The Etowah river is a fine mill stream, and the water from its head, joining the Hand canal below Dahlonega, furnishes 2,000 miners' inches with a head of 300 feet. To more completely control this water Mr. Hand obtained a charter, and what is known as a "right of eminent domain" from the state of Georgia. This charter gives a right-of-way for, and possession of, the waters of Cane Creek and the Yahoola River; and another charter has since been granted for the water of the Etowah river, the only possible waters that can be used for this section of the country. The right is of inestimable value; it is binding forever, and is open to no litigation. The first canal constructed by the original company is known as the "Old Hand" canal.

Yahoola Canal.

This canal begins in lot 1107, where a substantial dam forms the reservoir. This canal is 3 feet deep, 5 feet wide at the bottom, and 7 feet 6 inches at the top. The grade is 4 feet to the mile, and it carries when full 1,500 miners' inches of water. The soil through which it runs is a heavy red clay forming an absolute water-tight embankment. The total length from the dam to the Barlow mine is about 32 miles, and there are about 15 miles of branches. The country traversed by this canal is mountainous, and many obstacles had to be overcome. The first of these was a deep open cut which gave trouble from caving. To obviate this Mr. Hand constructed a tube 1,200 feet in length to carry the water. Other obstacles were two ravines, one of which was crossed by an inverted syphon [siphon], and the other avoided by extending the canal around it.

A second open cut necessitated a tube 800 feet long. A long low depression that could not be avoided had caused


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the construction of a flume over a mile long. This Mr. Hand replaced by a wooden tube.

About 1 mile above the town of Dahlonega the canal crosses the Yahoola river. To carry it an enormous tressel had been constructed, costing $100,000. This Mr. Hand removed, substituting an inverted syphon [siphon] 3 feet in diameter, made of wrought iron and 3/8 inches thick, built in 21-foot lengths, with wrought joints leaded. The total cost was $100,000.

Above Dahlonega the canal divides, some water going to the old Hand mill. and some to the Barlow and Pigeon Roost mines. To carry water to the Barlow, Cane Creek has to be crossed. This necessitates another long syphon [siphon] made of wrought iron boiler plate, 24 inches in diameter, and capable of carrying 800 to 1,000 miners' inches of water.

Reservoirs are provided for each mine. Every portion of the work has been executed with foresight, care and judgment in the most permanent manner. To recapitulate: This canal extends over 37 miles: it contains 8,600 feet of wooden tubing, 4,800 feet of iron pipe, 2,500 feet of which is 24 inches in diameter. It is provided with flood gates, overflows, ladders, everything in the most complete order. At a low estimate it required the excavation of 5,000,000 cubic feet of earth, and the blasting of thousands of tons of rock.

The Etowah Canal

The great success attending the first water system induced Mr. Hand to obtain a charter and purchase the right for the waters of the Etowah River. The canal was completed only to Cane Creek, where it now empties and gives additional water for mill power to the Barlow and other mills. When completed, this canal and the Hand canal will join above the Barlow mine, furnishing in all 2,000 miners' inches of water at a head of 300 feet.

The Etowah Canal is 21 miles long, and when completed will be 25. Its capacity is 800 miners' inches, and it is constructed in the same substantial manner as the Hand canal. It is 3 feet 6 inches deep 3 feet 6 inches wide at the bottom, and 4 feet 6


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inches wide at the top. It is puddled with clay, the banks solid and substantial, and sluices and overflows are provided where necessary. The grade is 6 feet to the mile.

In its course the canal had to be twice carried over the Etowah River, and once over Cane Creek. Substantial wrought iron 24 inch syphons [siphons] are employed. The length of the first syphon [siphon] over the Etowah River is 1900 feet; the second over Cane Creek is 600 feet, and that which crosses the Etowah the second time is 900 feet.

To complete this system a long syphon [siphon] is necessary, and 4 miles of canal remain to be dug; this will empty the water into the Hand canal. At a small comparative cost the water supply can be doubled by enlarging the canal and laying syphons [siphons] parallel to those now laid; for this provision has been made.

The question of value of these canals can be considered in different ways. The cost of construction alone, without the right of way, has been, at a low estimate, not less than $500,000. With rental sales on 1,500 inches only, the canals will earn 6 per cent [percent]. on $900,000; and if all of the water were sold, 7 per cent [percent]. on $1,000,000.

An estimate of $1,000,000 is entirely reasonable for this water system, and it can be made to pay 10 per cent [percent]. upon that investment.


[Signed] G. F. RENDALL, M. E. [Mining Engineer]



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McAfee Cut, Yahoola Mine -- View Twenty Feet Wide.




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A project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the Lumpkin County Library, Chestatee Regional Library System as part of Georgia HomePLACE. This project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.