Experience the Uwharries
Things to Do
Gold History & Mining
The Uwharrie region has a rich gold history. The gold rush in the United States began when a yellow rock that was being used as a doorstop, was discovered to be a 17lb gold nugget. News of this discovery, at what would become Reed Gold Mine, spread throughout central North Carolina. From this discovery in 1802, the gold fever spawned the growth of lode mining in the Uwharries. Most mining sites of this era are still intact and accessible, but many have been lost to time with forest growth concealing their locations. Commercial excavation of these sites continued into the early 1900's. The especially high concentration of gold mines in this area are due, in large part, to the nature of the Mountains themselves. Large veins of quartz exposed by thousands of years of erosion have disclosed the gold deposits beneath. In more recent times, placer mining (surface deposits), has become the desired means of excavation for most. Fueled by the history and lore of Uwharrie's gold past, people travel great distances to try their luck at finding this precious metal.
The Eldorado and Gold Hill communities were once thriving centers for the gold trade. Most of the gold ore was processed through the Mint Hill community and on to reserves in Charlotte. When gold was discovered out West, most mine owners moved their operations and sold off their interests in the Uwharrie's. The Uwharrie's saw an economic revival in the mid 1900's as its timber and sawmills supplied the housing boom after WWII. However,timber production has never matched the economic contribution that Uwharrie's gold made to the growth of our country.
*The Outpost has collections of maps, pictures and artifacts documenting this golden time in the Uwharries. The Outpost also has a large supply of placer mining supplies.
Uwharrie's Golden Past
"Gold panning makes a great family outing"
Gold pans, classifiers, screens, vials, sluice boxes, gold suckers and snuffer bottles