The Reed Gold Mine Celebration

The discovery of gold in North Carolina in 1799 is celebrated in April, 2017.

MIDLAND, N.C. – In the 40 years since its opening day April 23, 1977, Reed Gold Mine has welcomed more than two million visitors to the site of America’s first gold rush. Re-enactors and living history specialists will descend on Reed from across the country to celebrate this history April 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In 1799, 12-year-old Conrad Reed discovered a 17-pound gold nugget while fishing in Little Meadow Creek. After years serving as a doorstop, the nugget was determined to be gold by a jeweler in 1802 and purchased for $3.50. From there, gold mining began in earnest along the Reed property.


The discovery will be commemorated with rare, special living history demonstrations of surface and underground mining, hands-on mining activities, general demonstrations and mining related vendors.

Costumed interpreters will demonstrate cradle and log rockers, used to sort through dirt and find large nuggets on the surface. Other interpreters will show how blasting holes were drilled and gold bearing quartz rock was removed from the mine. The California-type 10-stamp mill will be in operation to show how rock was mixed with mercury to extract gold.    

Reed’s underground mine was opened in 1977 and panning was added in the 1980s. Visitors will be able to pan for gold and also take turns on the cradle rocker during the celebration. Guided tours and exhibits will also be available throughout the day. 



A tour inside a mine. Image courtesy N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources  


Admission for adults is $5, plus tax; and $3 plus tax for ages 3 to 12; aged two and younger are free. Panning will cost $3.21, tax included, for ages eight and older. Panning tickets are not sold to those younger than age eight because adult assistance would be needed.

For additional information, please call (704) 721-4653 or email [email protected]. Reed Gold Mine is located in southeastern Cabarrus County, 12 miles southeast of Concord, 25 east of Charlotte and 18 miles west of Albemarle.

Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The site is closed on Sunday, Monday and on major holidays. Admission is free. Reed Gold Mine is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of State Historic Sites, Office of Archives and History.

Article Source: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources news release.


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit


Image above right: Working in the gold mine. Image courtesy N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources