While many people are aware of the Gold Rush, very few know that North Carolina used to be the nation’s leading producer of gold before it was overshadowed by other states. Just outside of Charlotte is the Reed Gold Mine, where they found over a million dollars in gold every year up until 1848. Now, they are no longer a functioning gold mine, but they offer tours, visits, and planning sessions!
At the Reed Gold Mine, hopeful visitors can go panning at the low fee of $3 per pan. Visitors would use their pan to pick up water and sand. Then, they would sift through the debris in hopes that a bit of gold would fall to the bottom of their pan. If no gold was found, they would rinse and repeat, but some lucky individuals can find gold particles and take them back home.
For those who would simply like to visit the mine, they can do so at no fee at all. Tour guides are volunteers who are passionate about the history of the gold mine, and they show visitors some of the restored underground tunnels that miners would actually use. Visitors can even learn about the surrounding wildlife, geology of gold, the mining technology that was used, and there is a whole library dedicated towards the material on gold mining and the Reed family that ran the gold mine.
To conclude a visit to the gold mine, visitors can go to the gift shop and get souvenirs for themselves or their friends and family. Additionally, for some unlucky individuals who couldn’t find gold in their pans, natural gold nuggets are available for purchase!
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