Monday, May 5, 2014

Reed’s Gold Mine Tour

This weekend my son and I decided to visit Reed’s Gold Mine in Midland, NC, it’s only about 30 minutes from the house. I figured my son would like this because he plays Minecraft, which is a game where you do a lot of mining and you can mine for gold. Most people don’t realize that where Reed's Gold Mine is located was the first documented gold find in the United States and the reason the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC (Which use to mint coins).  You can find more information about that on the North Carolina History Reed's Gold Mine page.

The first thing we did when we arrived was walk through the museum. They had different old artifacts, gold coins, and mining equipment along with some stories and information about mining in the 1800's. We then watched a video about the history of Reed’s Gold Mine. Nicolas was anxious to go see the mine and wanted to skip the video and museum. We arrived around 9am and decided not to wait for the tour guide, which didn't arrive until 9:30am, and took the self-guided tour.

It was neat to be inside an old mine shaft. It’s been a long time since I've been anywhere underground. They had it lit up with lights to find your way through the tunnels, I couldn't imagine having to go in with candles and lanterns like they did back then. Water was dripping from some of the areas. Another cool features was that they gave us a map that had numbers which corresponded with different items in the mine and topside.

Once we finished the tour we bought a ticket for a pan of dirt to sift for gold, the cost was $3 a pan. The dirt comes directly from the creek beside the museum. It takes a little time to pan and the staff was helpful and knowledgeable on how to pan. When we were towards the bottom of the pan I was sure we didn't have anything. Then we saw a sparkle of gold, we had a small gold nugget. I mean really small. I say a nugget because you can shake the vile back and forth and hear the nugget bounce around. I don't think it would do that if it was a flake. Nicolas was really excited about finding the extra small gold nugget. (You can see it towards the end of the video below.)

I think the Reed's Gold Mine is a neat place to visit. I almost forgot to mention that it's also free. I recommend you check it out if your in the area.


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