Kelly talked with students about the history of gold in Georgia and Cherokee County. Wayne Weaver and Robert Poe gave students an opportunity to pan for gold as part of the presentation.
Kelly is a long-time recreational gold panner and founded the Allatoona Gold Panners as an informal group to keep the interest in gold mining and its history alive.
“I run it by myself. There are several hundred people on my email list and at least once a month we go gold panning at Blankets Creek and that area,” Kelly said.
Kelly said there are still about 30 creeks around Lake Allatoona where they still find gold.
Gold was first discovered in Georgia in 1828, which led the Gold Rush “Twenty-Niners” to many North Georgia towns, including Canton.
Gold belts run heavy through Cherokee County, and “gold creeks” include Sixes Creek, Blankets Creek, and Rose Creek in Cherokee County, Kelly said.
Kelly lectures about gold regularly throughout Cherokee County.