In 1828 gold was found near Dahlonega; Cherokee Indians were forbidden to dig for it; they were rounded up and force-marched to the West in the 'Trail of Tears' into exile; many of them died. A few managed to escape by hiding in the mountains or marrying whites. Their descendants still live in Dahlonega which has reinvented itself as a heritage town, living off the history of the fold and the Cherokees.
In a compelling and humorous portrait of life in small town America, filmed a month after the September 11th attacks, "Fool's Gold" peels away the layers of affluent color-coordinated shops, museums and big cars to reveal a community where people like Myra and Thomas live out life untouched by the prosperity of tourism or by the 'big' events outside. They struggle with poverty but share what little they have with others.