MIDLAND, NC August 20, 2014 – Thousands of miners flocked to the nation’s first documented gold find, not in the hills of California, but in the piedmont of North Carolina. In 1799, a shiny and heavy rock found by little Conrad Reed and used for a doorstop was, in reality, a 17-pound gold nugget. Once identified, the news spread and the Carolina Gold Rush was on.
The Reed farm is now the popular Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site where visitors can still pan for gold through October. A webcast at the site Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m. will explore the history of gold mining in North Carolina, and anyone can sign up to view the webcast at http://www.ncdcr.gov/DCRTV.
The Department of Cultural Resources staff will take questions during the live webcast.
Conrad Reed’s gold rock was used as a doorstop until a jeweler’s examination in 1802 revealed it to be gold. The jeweler paid $3.50 for the rock, 1/10th of one percent of its worth. Reed and his partners began working the surface in 1803. By 1824, the miners had recovered $100,000 worth of gold.
For additional information on the webcast, please call (919) 807-7289 or visit http://www.ncdcr.gov/DCRTV. The program is part of a series organized by the Connecting to Collections Project (C2C) of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
A federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the Connecting to Collections Initiative makes this program possible. The N.C. Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, also supports Connecting to Collections programs. Since 2010, Cultural Resources has led the C2C project to guide North Carolina archives, museums, libraries and historic sites with disaster preparedness, preservation of collections and disaster recovery.
Reed Gold Mine is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For additional information on the Reed Gold Mine, please call (704) 721-4653.
About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources