Trip Planner:   USA  /  North Carolina  /  Locust  /  Reed Gold Mine

Reed Gold Mine, Locust

The Reed Gold Mine is located in Midland, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and is the site of the first documented commercial gold find in the United States. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark because of its importance and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1799, Conrad Reed, the son of farmer and former Hessian soldier John Reed (né Johannes Reidt), found a 16-pound yellow "rock" in Little Meadow Creek on the family farm in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. For three years, the rock served as a bulky doorstop. In 1802, a jeweler from Fayetteville identified the rock as a large gold nugget. He told John Reed to name his price. Reed, not understanding the true value of gold, asked for what he thought was the hefty price of $3.50, or a week's worth of wages. The large nugget's true value was around $3,600.
About 1803, John Reed organized a small gold mining operation. Soon afterward a slave named Peter found a 28-pound nugget. Reed continued with placer mining for a number of years. In 1831 he began underground mining. John Reed died rich at age 58 in 1845 from the gold found on his property.
Some years later, the American Civil War decreased mining activity because of labor and resources being pulled into the war. The last large nugget uncovered by placer mining was discovered in 1896. The last underground mining took place at the Reed Mine in 1912. To handle the large amount of gold found in the region and state from the 19th into the early 20th century, the Charlotte Mint was built in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina.
Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Locust using our trip planner.
Create an itinerary including Reed Gold Mine
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Reed Gold Mine Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
167 reviews
  • See historical gold mine. Nice location. Free to visit. $3 to "pan for gold". You get a pan of dirt and you are instructed how to add water and sift down to see if you have gold flakes. Nice museum, a...  more »
  • The Reed Gold Mine is a wonderful place to visit. My first visit was today with a heat index around 100 degrees. It was about a 2 and 1/2 hour drive through beautiful countryside from Raleigh, NC. Whe...  more »
  • During summer there is no guided tour.So we went around and saw the mine. While coming out of the mine through upper hill the sign boards are not adequate to guide properly. A historic place could be better projected to make more interesting.
  • We had such a blast visiting here. The kids enjoyed walking through the old mines and learning about the history of gold in North Carolina. The panning for gold wasn't expensive ($3 a person I believe). Although we didn't find any gold, we did enjoy looking for it. I recommend bringing a lunch and water bottles. There's plenty walking along trails and the sun can be brutal.

Plan your trip to Locust

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Side trips from Locust

Duration: 2​h
Duration: 2​h 30​min
Duration: 2​h