Gold n Gem Grubbin' is located near Cleveland, Georgia in
the North Georgia mountains. The history of this destination,
both long and short-term, is very interesting.
Long term history - The property at Gold n Gem Grubbin' was
originally part of the
Loud Mine. Prior to the Civil War, the Loud Mine produced 2
of the 7 million dollars worth of Gold bullion coins produced at
the nearby Dahlonega Mint. In those days, miners used hydraulics
to erode the loose earth, dislodging gold that was eventually
separated. Unfortunately, the war between the states put an end to most mining
in Georgia. Some small mining operations attempted to
continue, but most of the "easy" gold had been
swept-up in the gold rush, and the gold that was left, while
plentiful, was just too hard to mine to be profitable. In
addition, gold finds in other parts of the world where labor
costs were/are almost non-existent rendered US gold mines
bankrupt. Keep in mind, the gold's still there, the Dahlonega
gold rush just scratched the surface. Fast forward 150 years...
If the long term history weren't interesting enough, the
short-term should be a book. Visit the
Gold n Gem
Grubbing website for the awesome story of how this place
came to be.
Obviously, the whole
idea of Gold n Gem Grubbin is panning for gold and grubbin' for
gems. The Gem Shack provides a very nice covered slough where
treasure hunters can search through "enriched" buckets of sand
for semi-precious gemstones, or pan for gold using processed ore
dug from the facility's on-site pit mine. The creek also
provides a place to pan and rockhound in a bit more realistic
manner. Read the PB&J Adventure Journals below for more
information on the creek.
Gold n Gem Grubbin' has its own small RV campground with full
hookups (water, electric, sewer, but no cable or antenna
reception). Additionally, there are several creek-side
primitive campsites that are awesome if you prefer tent camping.
I wanted to pull the motorhome down there, but we needed air
conditioning in this warm weather. The RV campground is pretty
rustic by most standards, but it will do. The campground is
secondary to the other business of treasure hunting.
Entry Date: September
For this long Labor Day weekend holiday, we decided
to re-visit Gold n Gem Grubbin' in Cleveland, Georgia
rockhounding adventure. In addition to providing an
awesome place to pan for gold, grub for gems, and
rockhound, the campground provides a great home-base
while exploring this part of Georgia. Some friends
joined us on this trip, so the kids had friends to play
with at the campground. And play they did. We were so
happy they were getting exercise.
Our first full day
was a Saturday, and we decided to spend it exploring the area.
Blairsville was hosting a Mountain Heritage Festival, so that
was our first destination. We had a hankerin' for some funnel
cake, home-made ice cream, folk music, and farm animals. We
swung into Vogel State Park on the way. We've stayed at Vogel
just once, but we loved it. We're coming back Thanksgiving! The
festival in Blairsville was a lot of fun, and we saw many works
of art, and lots of folks working at it. All our expectations
were filled before having a picnic lunch and heading for Helton
Creek Falls to play in the water.
concluded our day back at the Gold n Gem Grubbin' campground by
a nice fire. We knew tomorrow would be filled with treasure
hunting and discovery, not to mention a little playing in the
Sunday morning, we
loaded-up our prospecting gear and headed for the creek. At Gold
n Gem Grubbin', treasure seekers pay a fee which covers all
the pans, screens, buckets, and shovels you need to dig from the
pile of processed material they dump next to the creek. You
simply carry your bucket up to the pile, fill it with the
shovel, strain the rocks out with the screens, then sit or stand
in the creek and pan away the dirt and sand. Sounds easy.
Unfortunately on this day, we had no luck. I think I found two
flakes, and that was about it. We did find some garnet,
amethyst, nicely formed quartz crystals, and lots of pyrite (fools
When we'd had enough
of the creek and panning, we headed for the "Gem Shack" for some
gem grubbin' from "enriched" buckets of rock and sand. Sure,
it's cheating, but the kids (and adults) sure have a lot more
fun when they find stuff. We've done this in a number of places,
and I have to say, gold n Gem Grubbin' is pretty liberal with
their gemstones. Of course, they hope you'll let them cut the
stones for jewelry. If you decide to use this service, you'll
end-up with a very nice piece of jewelry made from a gem you found. It's a lot of fun, and good for the kids too.
The last two
pictures in this adventure show how dirty the Jeep got this
weekend and how well my tires are wearing. The BF Goodrich TA
Radials have almost 60,000 miles on them, and should
last another 10,000 with no problem. I think I may buy the same
thing next time.
The Richardson Tribe
Scroll Down for more
pictures and another Adventure Journal entry.
Entry Date: August 2008
We headed for Cleveland, Georgia after school on Friday. The
plan was to meet two other families in at the campground in Cleveland. It's not a long drive (distance wise), but there
are a lot of curvy roads along the way. We were heading for
N Gem Grubbin', a commercial mine just west of
Cleveland. I had done some research and found Gold n Gem
Grubbin' had a
campground on the property with full hookups. There was
very little information about the campground on their
Website, so I called them to ask more questions. The owner,
Brian Devan, went to the campground and took pictures with
his phone and emailed them to me. I was still a little wary,
but my worries were gone when we got there. Some "RV Park"
campers" might find the campground a little too rustic. The
inner roads are not paved and there's no cable (boo hoo). There
had originally been 16 sites, but they eliminated every
other one doubling the space for each camper. So, with only
8 sites, it's like we had our own campground. There was a
lot of room with our campers almost circled (sites 5, 6, 7)
around a campfire and picnic area. My only negative with
regards to their campground is that there was no more
information on their Website. Mr. Devan explained that they
weren't really trying to make a run at being a commercial
campground. The intent is to provide an amenity for their
mining customers. One thing is for sure, all the kids sure
enjoyed playing the games we brought in the wide open space
of the campground.
Up the Creek...
Our plans for the first full day at Gold n Gem Grubbin' involved
playing in the dirt and the creek. We got up, ate breakfast,
loaded-up and drove over to the main office/gem shack. We were
pleased with the personal attention the Tribe received from
Stacy. Daddy spoke with one of the owners,
Brian Devan (this guy has quite a story), briefly about the
campground before we all loaded-up and went to the creek for some
gold panning and gem grubbin'.
To me, this was the best part of the trip. All the kids looked for
rocks and gold while getting downright wet and nasty. We found very
little gold, but Lee Thomas found a fist sized amethyst, and Mommy
found two almost perfect quartz crystals. Everyone found something
to take home, but most of all, they had big fun. It cost this
family of 6 only $37.00 for four hours of entertainment. That's a
pretty good deal (keep in mind that three of our kids were free
because they were under 7). Here is a link to their
creek mining prices.
The Gem Shack...
Our Second day at Gold n Gem Grubbin' was spent at the Gem Shack
screening enriched buckets of ore. When we first started
rockhounding, I was disappointed in the fact that commercial mines
enriched their buckets of ore. With kids, it's really necessary. If
they don't find a reward, they'll lose interest. I can honestly say
that the buckets we purchased at Gold n Gem Grubbin' had far more
nice specimens than any other mine we have visited. Take a look at
the last picture in the series to the right for the day's findings.
We learned about this
place by watching "Best
Places to find Cash and Treasure" on the Travel Channel. I'm
not sure if that particular episode is available anymore, but the
host found a large gold nugget and a big chunk of amethyst (as did
we). The picture at the bottom shows our finds for the day. The
bag (corner at top of of picture) contains rubies. We also found
sapphire, amethyst, nicely formed quartz crystals, rose quartz,
pyrite, blue topaz, fluorite, calcite, emerald, tiger eye, etc.
This is one of the Tribe's favorite hobbies.
The Richardson Tribe
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Sidney Lanier
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Stone Mountain Park
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures
The site has a lot of
information about their primary business, gold panning and
gem grubbing. It has little information about the
campground. Just two pictures, and one is of our Jeep and
our first Homer (RV).
You'll need to call.
8 full hookup RV Campsites ($28) - No
Cable. Fairly rustic campground with rocky inner roads (not
a place for bike riding). This is a great place to camp when
visiting the area.
Geocaching is available, but we didn't have a chance.
Gold Panning, Gem Grubbing, Custom Jewelry.
Hounding is what Gold n Gem Grubbin' is all about. In
addition, Dahlonega is also nearby.
Smithgall Woods, Helen,
Tallulah Gorge State Park,
State Park, and much much more.
*Note: We rate
only the amenities we have personally reviewed.
**Accommodation pricing is based on 2010 Gold n Gem
No financial consideration or favor has been received for
listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way
affiliated with this facility or any other facility we
review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged
after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the
reviews to be unbiased.
Don't be fooled by the cheap imitations.
When the Tribe first started rockhounding, we
purchased a cheap rock tumbler. Then we got
another. Finally we learned our lesson.
Now we have Thumler's Tumblers, the best!
Purchase from Cabela's, and support PB&J
Rotary Rock Tumbler
The Model T has a single water tight
rubber barrel with a one quart capacity. It also
has a 115volt, 1/250th hp impe-dance protected
motor, and a heavy gauge steel base. Comes with
enough polishing grit to do complete polishing
process in one barrel; 12oz. package of rocks to
get your budding rockhound started; jewelry kit
and a book on rocks.
Model AR-2 Rotary Rock Tumbler
This polisher brings out the
natural beauty in rocks. It has two water tight molded rubber barrels, each with 1 quart capacity.
You can be shaping rocks in one barrel while
polishing in the other.
The 115 volt, 1/75th hp motor supplies plenty of
power. This polisher has a heavy gauge steel
base, and it comes with enough polishing grit to
do the complete polishing process in two
barrels. An informative book on rocks also is
12 Rotary Rock Tumbler
For the serious rock hobbyist or hand loader,
the AR12 provides a spacious 12 pound, one
gallon capacity. The hexagon shaped rubber
barrel and overload protected, fan cooled motor
deliver quiet, efficient operation. Heavy gauge
Model Ultra Vibe 10 (with media)
like to use a rotary tumbler to shape the rocks,
then a vibratory tumbler to polish. If you are a
gun enthusiast that reloads, this will also
polish 125 rifle or 400 pistol cases. It has a
115 volt thermally protected, sealed ball
bearing motor. It vibrates at 3000 vpm. It
includes 3 pounds of corn cob media.
Rock Polishing Grit - $14.99
All the grit you need for
polishing. This kit includes the following
media: (2) 4oz. coarse, (2) 4oz. fine, (2) 2oz.
pre-polish, (2) 2oz. polish. There are enough
supplies to complete the polishing process in