Madeleine K. Anthony


Realizing that many newcomers to Dahlonega may know nothing about the woman whom the Historical Society’s annual Madeleine K. Anthony Award honors, program chairman Sallie Sorohan invited a number of people who knew Madeleine personally to share their memories of her at the February 8, 2007 meeting.

Angie Johnson, Director of the Gold Museum, and her dedicated employees Robin Glass, Teresa Walker, and Lori Hamby hosted the meeting held to remember the woman who worked so hard to save the old courthouse and rehabilitate it for a gold museum. Madeleine Anthony was also the Gold Museum’s first curator. The meeting was conducted by Annette Seymour, 2007 Historical Society president and also a Gold Museum tour guide.

Special guests at the meeting were Madeleine Henderson (Madeleine’s daughter) and Jack Anthony (Madeleine’s son), his wife June and their daughter, Jan Perkins. Jack made a special presentation, donating to the Historical Society three interview tapes made by Madeleine, which he had converted to CDs. These record conversations held with old timers Dave Summerour, “Aunt Nine” Head, and J. C. “Daddy” Barnes,” in which they discuss gold mining and other aspects of Dahlonega’s history.

Sallie Sorohan opened the program by relating how she had organized 50 boxes of Madeleine’s notes (many hastily scribbled on small scraps of paper) and pictures to become the Madeleine K. Anthony Archives now housed at the Lumpkin County Library.

After paying her personal tribute to Madeleine, Sallie called upon others to share their memories. Margaret Owens revealed that Madeleine was never fond of cleaning house and related how she kept the vacuum set up in the middle of the living room so that if someone came in, she could explain that she was just getting ready to do the vacuuming!

Mary Ellen Moore called Madeleine “a hero who truly loved Dahlonega.”

J. B. Jones remembered that she would never take “no” for an answer and that there was never a dull moment when she was around. He described her as “a downtown development authority all in herself.” He noted that she had intercepted a truck headed for the landfill with 35 boxes of old legal papers dating as far back as 1832.

Bella Lynn related that Madeleine taught her to research Lumpkin County’s old deed book records and told how they had worked together to get the Dahlonega Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She described how Madeleine had asked for an original City of Atlanta gas light to be installed on the grounds of the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Not only did she get the light; she insisted that it be made to work!

Madeleine K. Anthony worked tirelessly to promote Dahlonega and Lumpkin County and to preserve the history of this area. She was one of the first active promoters of tourism for the North Georgia area, and she was actively involved in the project to gild the dome of the State Capitol in Atlanta with Dahlonega gold.

In recent years she has been recognized as a Georgia Woman of Achievement. It’s interesting to speculate what Dahlonega might look like today if Madeleine Anthony had not lived here.

Source: Now and Then Newsletter, Vol 24, Feb. 2007, p5.

In 2003 Madeleine Anthony was inducted as a Georgia Women of Achievement. At the time videos were not created but the organization has been catching up and released the following video about Madeleine's contribution to our area. It was appropriately debuted at the Gold Museum on Feb. 28, 2012.

Video used with the kind permission of Beth Oleson, Executive Director of Georgia Women of Achievement.

Posted March 1, 2012 by Manny Carvalho