Gold Mining Boom in the Carolinas
July 2012 by Craig E. RedickNot too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
We decided to check some spots that were pretty good to us on previous trips. The detector was deceptively simple with few buttons and auto-ground balance.
I have found gold more than 200 feet above the river. It was not unusual for nuggets of an ounce or more to be found in these deposits, but fine gold and flakes are much more common.
We had been picking away at it, but the going was mightly slow. Why not use some explosives to advance a little quicker?
I’d like to offer some practical comments about staking and maintaining mining claims. Owning your own claim is the dream of many prospectors. I’ve made good money off my mining claims, both from the minerals I have found on them as well as from leasing out some of my claims to larger mining and exploration companies.
The first pieces found were in a spot that most gold hunters would not even detect, right in the middle of a downslope meadow.
In the “toolbox” of most every prospector there are certain tools that we tend to use consistently for a variety of reasons. Have you ever noticed that tools and equipment tend to wear out, rust and fall apart whether we use them or not?
The Bawl Mill • Gold Depositiion and Gradients of Placer Streams—Part II • The Life of an Independent Prospector • Gold in Guyana—Part I: Porknocking on the Puruni River Road • That Something Extra • Prospecting for Copper Ores—Part II • Metallic Trash—Scourge of the Prospector • California Suction Dredging Update • Mine, Baby, Mine! • Hecla to Reopen Lucky Friday Mine • Nova Scotia Shows It's Serious About Jobs & Mining • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices