Discover the Forgotten Gold Mining Town of Goldville

Discover the forgotten gold mining town of Goldville, nestled in north-central Tallapoosa County, Alabama.

Once a thriving hub during the peak of Alabama's gold mining era in 1842, the town experienced a gradual decline as the gold reserves diminished.

After nearly a century of dormancy, Goldville was reincorporated in July 1973. Presently, with a modest population of 47, the town encapsulates its rich history and unique attributes.

This article aims to delve into the compelling story of Goldville, offering insights into its historical significance, economic evolution, and present-day allure.

Join us on a journey to uncover the hidden treasures of this captivating town, as we unravel the forgotten legacy and current characteristics of Goldville.

Key Takeaways

  • Goldville was founded in 1842 during Alabama's peak gold-mining period and became one of the largest towns in Alabama at the time.
  • The town experienced a decline in population and activity as the gold reserves were mined out by the late 1840s.
  • Goldville reincorporated in July 1973 after being dormant for nearly a century.
  • According to the 2020 Census, Goldville has a small population of 47, with 100 percent identifying as white, and the town's per capita income is $36,109.

History of Goldville

Goldville's history dates back to its founding in 1842 during Alabama's peak gold-mining period. The town thrived with numerous stores, saloons, a hotel, and a mining supply house. Gold mining techniques such as placer mining and hard rock mining were employed, leading to substantial gold yields.

However, the impact of gold mining on the environment was significant, with the use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury, as well as extensive land and soil disruption. By the late 1840s, the gold reserves were depleted, leading to a mass exodus from the town. As a result, Goldville's population dwindled, and the town remained dormant for nearly a century.

This historical period underscores the interplay between economic prosperity, environmental impact, and the subsequent decline of a once-thriving gold mining town.

Gold Mining in the 19th Century

During the 19th century, the gold mining activities in Goldville led to substantial yields, but also had significant environmental impacts, as seen in the use of toxic chemicals and extensive land disruption.

This historical context sets the stage for understanding the complexities of gold mining in the town during that era.

Gold mining techniques in the 19th century included hydraulic mining, where high-pressure water jets were used to dislodge material, as well as the use of explosives and heavy machinery.

These techniques resulted in widespread environmental degradation, including erosion, sedimentation of rivers, and deforestation.

Moreover, the use of toxic chemicals such as cyanide and mercury in the extraction process had long-lasting effects on the local ecosystems.

The impact of gold mining on the environment during this period serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of responsible mining practices.

Goldville's Economic Decline

The economic decline of Goldville was exacerbated by the depletion of gold reserves and the resulting mass exodus of its population, leaving the town a shadow of its former self. The causes of economic decline were primarily rooted in the impact of gold mining on the environment, leading to the exhaustion of gold deposits. This, in turn, led to a significant downturn in economic activity, as the town's primary source of income disappeared. The table below illustrates the industrial categories that once divided the workforce in Goldville, demonstrating the diversity that once existed in the town's economy.

Industrial Category Percentage of Workforce
Professional, scientific, and management services 23.1%
Retail trade 23.1%
Construction 15.5%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 11.5%

This downturn in economic activity had a profound impact on the town, resulting in a decline in population and a loss of economic diversity.

Reincorporation of Goldville

In 1973, Goldville reincorporated after nearly a century of dormancy, marking a pivotal moment in the town's history. The reincorporation brought about both challenges and opportunities.

The town faced the task of rebuilding its infrastructure and local governance, while also addressing economic revitalization. The process of reincorporation presented hurdles in terms of securing funding for essential services, rebuilding public facilities, and attracting new businesses. However, it also offered the chance to redevelop the town's economy and community spirit.

Through strategic planning and investment, Goldville aimed to attract new industries and businesses, create job opportunities, and improve the overall quality of life for its residents. The reincorporation of Goldville signified a new chapter for the town, with a focus on progress and growth.

Demographic Snapshot of Goldville

Upon reincorporation in 1973, Goldville faced the challenge of rebuilding its infrastructure and local governance, while also addressing economic revitalization. Goldville's population has seen a gradual increase, with the 2020 Census estimating a population of 47, marking a slight growth from previous years. Notably, the entire population identified themselves as white. Economic diversification in Goldville has been evident, with the workforce divided among various industrial categories. Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services accounted for 23.1 percent of the workforce, while retail trade and construction accounted for 23.1 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively. The town's per capita income stands at $36,109. This demographic snapshot illustrates the town's small yet evolving population and the ongoing economic diversification in Goldville.

Demographics Data
Population 47
Per Capita Income $36,109

Economic Landscape of Goldville

Economic diversification characterizes the landscape of Goldville, Alabama. The town, once a thriving gold mining hub, has experienced economic decline following the depletion of its gold reserves in the late 1840s.

In the present day economy, Goldville's workforce is divided among various industrial categories. Professional, scientific, and management, administrative and waste management services, retail trade, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and extraction, as well as educational services, and healthcare and social assistance, form the economic backbone of the town.

Despite the historical reliance on mining, Goldville has adapted to diversify its economic activities, showcasing a shift towards service-based and retail industries. This economic adaptation has been crucial in sustaining the town's economy following the decline of the mining industry.

Goldville's present economic landscape reflects a multifaceted approach to employment and economic stability.

Education in Goldville

The educational landscape of Goldville is characterized by its reliance on Tallapoosa County schools, as no public schools are situated within the town limits. Students in Goldville have access to education opportunities through the Tallapoosa County school system. While the town itself does not host any public schools, students can still benefit from a range of educational services provided by the county.

This includes access to a variety of academic and extracurricular programs designed to foster learning and personal development. Despite the absence of public schools within the town, the reliance on the county school system ensures that students in Goldville have the opportunity to receive a comprehensive education.

The town's commitment to utilizing resources from the larger county reflects an ongoing dedication to providing quality education to its residents.

Transportation in and Around Goldville

Situated in north-central Tallapoosa County, Goldville's transportation infrastructure is primarily served by State Highway 49, which enters the town from the northeast and exits running southeast. The town lacks public transportation, and residents primarily rely on private vehicles for commuting.

Road infrastructure is well-maintained, allowing for smooth travel within and around Goldville. State Highway 49, being the main artery, facilitates convenient access to neighboring towns and cities. However, the absence of public transportation may pose challenges for those without personal vehicles, particularly in commuting for work or accessing essential services.

Efforts to improve public transportation facilities or establish alternative means of commuting could enhance mobility and accessibility for the residents of Goldville. Enhancing road infrastructure and public transportation could play a vital role in promoting economic growth and community development in the town.

Landmarks and Points of Interest

Several historic landmarks and points of interest in Goldville showcase the town's rich mining history and cultural heritage.

Goldville's architectural heritage is preserved in the form of the historic Goldville Hotel, which was once a bustling hub for miners and visitors during the town's gold-mining heyday. The hotel's architecture reflects the town's prosperous past and offers a glimpse into its vibrant history.

Additionally, Goldville is steeped in local legends and folklore, with sites such as the 'Miner's Hollow' and the 'Lost Treasure Cave' attracting visitors intrigued by the town's mysterious past. These landmarks serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of Goldville's mining era and provide insight into the folklore that has been woven into the fabric of the town's identity.

Present-Day Goldville

In present-day Goldville, amidst its rich historical legacy, the town continues to grapple with economic revitalization and maintaining its cultural heritage.

  • The decline of gold mining in Goldville

The once-thriving gold mining industry in Goldville experienced a decline by the late 1840s, leading to a mass exodus of residents as the gold reserves were depleted.

  • Post gold mining economic activities in Goldville

Today, Goldville's economy is diversified, with the workforce engaged in professional, scientific, management, retail trade, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, extraction, educational services, healthcare, and social assistance sectors. The town is striving to revitalize its economy through these varied sectors, seeking sustainability beyond its historical ties to gold mining.

Goldville's focus on economic diversification reflects a commitment to preserving its heritage while adapting to modern economic demands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Current Population of Goldville and How Has It Changed Over the Years?

The current population of Goldville is 47, as per the 2020 Census. Over the years, the town has experienced minimal population changes. Economic growth is evident in diverse employment sectors, and community events contribute to town vibrancy.

Are There Any Historical Landmarks or Sites Related to the Gold Mining History That Visitors Can Explore in Goldville?

Goldville boasts several historical landmarks and gold mining sites, providing a rich experience for visitors. The Goldville Historical Society preserves the town's mining history, with tours of old mining shafts and exhibits at local museums.

How Has the Transportation Infrastructure in Goldville Evolved Since Its Founding in the 19th Century?

The transportation infrastructure in Goldville has evolved significantly since its founding in the 19th century. The town has witnessed modern transportation advancements, including road expansion and improved connectivity, reflecting ongoing infrastructure development catering to its growing needs.

What Are Some Unique Cultural or Community Events That Take Place in Goldville Today?

Goldville celebrates its rich history and community spirit through annual community festivals, paying homage to its gold mining heritage. Cultural traditions, such as historical reenactments and local crafts, bring residents and visitors together, fostering a strong sense of community.

How Has the Local Economy Diversified Since the Decline of Gold Mining in Goldville?

The local economy in Goldville has diversified since the decline of gold mining, with a focus on economic development. Tourism attractions, such as historical sites and outdoor activities, have been leveraged to attract visitors and support small businesses.


In conclusion, the history of Goldville as a former gold mining town offers a glimpse into the town's rich past. Its subsequent decline and reincorporation further add to its unique story. Despite its small population and economic challenges, Goldville continues to preserve its historical charm and unique circular town limits. The presence of educational institutions, landmarks, and points of interest make Goldville a testament to Alabama's gold mining era. Visitors are drawn to Goldville to discover its forgotten history and appreciate its present-day characteristics.

Our Reader’s Queries

What is the history of Goldville Alabama?

Goldville, Alabama, established on January 25, 1843, used to be one of the biggest cities in Alabama, home to around 5,000 residents. However, the California gold rush in 1849 led to the city becoming inactive, only to be revived on July 9, 1973.

When was the gold rush in Alabama?

During Alabama’s gold rush in the 1820’s, 30’s, and 40’s, over 200 gold mines were operating in the Goldville region.

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