Reed Gold Mine – Midland, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Reed Gold Mine

Midland, North Carolina

The first documented commercial gold find in the United States. 

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Reed Gold Mine is the first documented commercial gold found in the United States, triggering the first gold rush. The land was owned by John Reed, a former Hessian soldier, who fought for the British in the Revolutionary War. Reed and his family settled onto a farmstead in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Northeast of Charlotte. 

The story of the gold discovery began in 1799 when Reed’s son found a large yellow rock in a nearby creek. The rock weighed 17 pounds. Not originally recognized as gold, legend has it that the family used the rock as the doorstop for the family house. 

A nearby jeweler from Fayetteville identified the rock as gold in 1802 while visiting the home. It was purchased for a portion of its true worth. Eventually, word got out and gold was discovered in nearby creeks and land, triggering a gold rush. At its peak, the estimated value mined each year in the mine and surrounding areas topped over one million dollars, including a 28-pound gold nugget that was also found at Reed’s farm. 

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Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.


Admission is free, and fees for underground guided tours.

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July 18, 2023

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