Anne Dismukes Amerson

Anne first saw and wrote about the Diving Bell in 1991. She has been involved in all aspects of the diving bell project and has been an active member of the Chestatee River Diving Bell since it was formed in 2009. See her article, "Diving Bells Aren't Always Round."

In 1990 Anne was the first recipient of the Historical Society's Madeleine K. Anthony Award, and in 2003 she was named one of eleven "Humanities Heroes" from around the state to receive the Governor's Award in the Humanities. In 2012 she was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Dahlonega Sunrise Rotary Club.

In 1989 Anne began interviewing longtime local residents and recording their personal memories as well as stories passed down in their families. Her weekly column entitled "I Remember Dahlonega" was published in The Dahlonega Nugget for ten years. She has also been a regular contributor of articles about local history to the North Georgia Journal (now Georgia Backroads).

Anne Dismukes Amerson is a native of Dahlonega and a 1956 graduate of North Georgia College. She and her husband Amos returned to Dahlonega in 1979 following his retirement from the U. S. Army.

Manuel B. Carvalho

Manny immigrated to the United States from Portugal when he was 10 years old. He received his BS in chemistry from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1972 and his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1979. He worked for the then CIBA-Geigy Corp. [now Syngenta] near Baton Rouge, Louisiana holding a variety of jobs until he retired in March 1997 as the Director of Analytical, Quality and Purchasing Department. Since retiring to the lovely north Georgia mountains with his wife Carol, besides building his home Strawberry Oaks, he has indulged in his fondness of history by being involved with the Lumpkin County Historical Society. He's been on the Society's Board of directors since 2010 and has maintained the Society's web site.

Roberta Niles

Robbie, along with a menagerie of two horses, three dogs, and a cat, moved to Lumpkin County around 1984 from Sandy Springs, a suburb north of Atlanta. She carved out a pasture in the rolling woodland hills, and over time, built a barn, a riding ring, and a home. While a teenager, Robbie had dined with her family at the Smith House (a very different place in the late ’50s) on an occasional Sunday afternoon and on the way home from hiking and camping trips with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, but she knew nothing of Dahlonega’s rich history.

While developing her land, Robbie learned that she was in Auraria, and the area along a creek and roadway along the southern border of her land is called, “Booger Holler.” Not only that, but the fine black sand brought up while drilling for a well, when panned out, contained gold dust.


She went to the Lumpkin County Library and checked out all of the books she could find on the history of Dahlonega and Auraria. Thus she primed herself for membership in the Lumpkin County Historical Society when, after commuting to work in Atlanta for seven years, she opened her own graphic arts business in the Sargent Building on Dahlonega’s historic public square.

Over the years, Robbie has served the Lumpkin County Historical Society as Secretary, Vice President, President, Corporate Secretary of the Board of Directors, and as a docent at the 1884 Old Jail Museum. She works with Anne Amerson writing and editing the Society’s “Now & Then” newsletter.

William W. Waldrop

It would be his long standing historical research on the life of Benjamin Maillefert that would bring him to Dahlonega though. In September of 2008, Bill was doing some online research on this early pioneer in underwater salvage and demolition when he came across a story about one of Maillefert’s diving bells having been found near Dahlonega in the Chestatee River. Bill has been involved since that time helping to locate P. H. Loud’s descendants and aiding in the historical research on his life.

His diving career began in 1974 and since that time has grown into a lucrative side business serving individuals who have lost things overboard and local marine businesses. Since 1985 he has been hired to raise sunken barges, locate 10 ton mooring anchors, lost propellers, rudders and expensive equipment lost overboard. His knowledge of drafting and triangulation has aided him as he prepared underwater surveys and other necessary drawings for these companies.

Bill has always lived near Richmond, Virginia where he has been employed by Altria since 1981. Although educated as a metal worker and mechanic, his true passions have always been naval history, scuba diving and diving history.

Christopher Worick

Christopher Worick has lived in Dahlonega since 2001. Chris retired from the Army after spending 23 years on active duty. While in the Army his primary occupation was in armor and cavalry units. He also served as a recruiter, instructor and had several articles published in Armor magazine. Chris served in many stateside and overseas assignments as well as serving as a tank commander during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

After retiring from the Army, Chris became interested in the gold mining history of his newly adopted town. This interest has led to the publication of two books and many more in the works. Chris also serves as the Vice President of the Lumpkin County Historical Sopciety, Chairman of the Chestatee River Diving Bell Committee and is a member of the Dahlonega Historical Preservation Commission. Chris has been married to his wife Monika for 26 years