In the early 1800s, the first American gold rush brought more people to the mountains of Georgia, increasing the population in Habersham County. Mining operations continued into the 1840s when the California gold rush enticed miners to strike out across the country, away from dwindling gold deposits in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In honor of the gold rush that occurred in Georgia, the State Capitol building has a dome that is covered in forty-three ounces of Georgia gold.
In the 1870s, railroads were built in the county, linking the area to large metropolitan areas. This led to the growth of small railroad towns such as Cornelia. Habersham County also acted as a vacation spot for people living in Atlanta and Savannah, offering cooler summers, clean air, and scenic vistas. Tallulah Falls was one of the most popular vacation spots and still retains that honor to this day. Habersham County is famous for its production of apples, peaches, wines, and poultry. It serves as both an industrial county and as a tourist location for many visitors.