Lumpkin County officials and residents will gather in front of one of Georgia's oldest courthouses on Monday with a birthday cake and candles to celebrate the county's 175th birthday.
The historic courthouse, now the Dahlonega Gold Museum, will be the site of the Lumpkin County birthday party where residents will sing "Happy Birthday" before slicing a cake decorated with the official county seal.
On Dec. 3, 1832, Lumpkin County was established as the 82nd county in Georgia and was named after then-governor Wilson Lumpkin.
"We have a lot of history here in Lumpkin County," said Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners Steve Gooch. "We were the site of America's first gold rush back in the early 1800s, and we take a lot of pride in our community and we've grown over the years, and have evolved into a really diversified community."
The county's 175th anniversary celebration begins at 11:30 a.m. on Monday and will be marked by a fanfare of music by the Lumpkin County Band of Gold and the Lumpkin County High School Chorus. Fifth-grader Kayla Leigh Armstrong will sing the National Anthem and the North Georgia College and State University Corps of Cadets will present the colors.
Gooch will read a proclamation acknowledging the county's 175th year of operation, along with various accounts of public meetings over the years since the county's establishment in 1832.
"We've reached back into some of the archives and dug out some records and we're just going to read some things for history's sake, just to see how things are done today compared to how they were done 100 years ago," Gooch said.
Some half-dozen Lumpkin County residents who are more than 100 years old plan to attend the ceremony, where they will be recognized along with families who have played a part in the county's history.
"We're going to try to pick out some people that have deep roots here and recognize the native people," Gooch said.
Gooch said that he is a fifth-generation Lumpkin County resident, and his son will be the sixth. He added that there are some families that have histories in the county that stretch back seven generations, including some that were there long before the gold rush of the early 1800s.
"We have some Cherokee descendants here in the community," Gooch said. "And we want to honor those folks as well, because they treasured this land and occupied this part of the country long before the rest of us did."