Thursday, December 19, 2013

reed gold mine

While Grandma and Grandpa were visiting we took a trip to Reed Gold Mine in Midland, NC (about an hour away).  Reed Gold Mine was the site of the first documented discovery of gold in the United States.

John Reed, a Hessian soldier who left the British Army, settled in North Carolina at the end of the Revolutionary War.  In 1799, Reed's son Conrad found a large (17 pound!!) yellow rock in the creek on their farm.  After being used as a doorstop at their house for 3 years, the Reed family sold the gold nugget to a jeweler for the asking price of $3.50 (1% of it's true value).  In 1803, the Reeds began mining their land and within the first twenty years, using only pans and rockers, they recovered an estimated yield of $100,000.  We were very surprised to learn that North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848 when it was eclipsed by the California Gold Rush.

After watching a short movie on the history of the mine we headed out into the forest to explore.

albaeck crew
The Albaeck Crew

bridge at reed's gold mine
The kids loved this loooooong bridge....

mine entrance
And thought it was awesome that you could feel the cold air coming out of the mine entrance as you walked up.

Checking out the mine.

panning for gold
Panning for gold

Nick found GOLD!!  He was the only one in our group to find any and ended up with a tiny piece of gold worth about $5.

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