Fishing in a creek in 1799, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound gold nugget on his family’s farm in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The Reeds used the nugget as a bulky door stop for a few years until they learned its true worth.
Then in 1803, a 28-pound nugget was found on what became the Reed Gold Mine. News of this find quickly spread by newspapers, leading to the Carolina Gold Rush — the first gold rush in America’s history.
In 1835, President Andrew Jackson opened three branch mints, one of them in Charlotte, to mint the newly discovered gold.
– Carlisle Willard, Contributor