Nearby Dahlonega became the heart of the first real gold rush in America until news from California prompted the gold fever to migrate west. Closer to Big Canoe, another valuable commodity was discovered. Sam Tate, who ran a hotel on the Federal Road, found rich marble deposits on his land. This marble would be used to build the Lincoln Memorial, as well as other monuments. As the Tate family began mining the marble, they found the veins of valuable stone extended well beyond their property. Grandson Sam Tate, also known as Colonel Tate, began buying as much of the surrounding land as he could-including what is now Big Canoe. Marble quarries still actively mine the stone in Marble Hill and Tate. Colonel Tate supported an effort to build schools and create a community for his Big Canoe neighbors. Wolfscratch School was established and operated in the building now housing the tennis pro shop. Crops were grown on the golf course. The two large chimneys standing next to the Big Canoe Realty office are all that remains of a house built in 1913 for the school faculty members, which eventually became the principal residence for Steve and Lucille Tate. It burned down in 1959.