Question Answer Where you found the info
file://Kiosk/Kiosk/FAQ.htmDo any of the Reeds still live around here? No. Most of the family has moved out west.  
How many people died in the mine? This is no record of anyone being killed.  
Who owns the property? The State of North Carolina owns the property.  Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is run by the Department of Cultural Resources.  
Is there any gold left in the mine?  If so, how much? In 1854, a geologist in SC and NC reported that the mine was almost depleted--yielding only $1.15 per bushel. Due to the mine never being mined by modern equipment there probably is some gold left, although the amount is undetermined at this time. Gold Mining in North Carolina, pg. 61.
What types of animals are in the mine? Salamanders, bats, frogs, snakes, spiders.  
What is the temperature in the mine? Between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit  
How far down does the tour go? 50 feet below the surface.  
What are the hours for the panning area? 9:00am-5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday from April 1- October 31.  Panning tickets will not be sold after 4:15pm.  The panning area is closed November through March.  
How much gold was taken out of the mine? Lode? Placer? Placer Mining: more than $200,000 from this gold mine. "Estimates of North Carolina gold productions form 1803 range from $25 million to $100 million, but these are really only "educated guesses." Individual miners and mining companies often kept their yields secret.  No one knows how much was stolen by workers.  Perhaps one-half to two-thirds of all gold minted in the state went directly to places other than mints-commercial houses, Europe, or the western frontier-or was made into jewelry." Gold Mining in North Carolina, pg. 14./ Museum
How much land did the Reed's own?/ How much land is the site? John Reed started with about 330 acres of land, and through numerous land transactions,   
Is this gold? A picture of a gold nugget, and a picture of the average flake found in the panning area  
Can you find real gold in the panning area? Yes  
What is the difference between gold and pyrite? Gold is a natural element that is soft, while pyrite is a compound of sulfur and a metal, such as tin or copper.  Iron pyrites resemble gold visually and are known as fool's gold, however pyrite cleaves to form flat surfaces.   
How did the shafts get their names? Shafts were named after people-miners, foremen, or relatives working in the mine.  Crayton shaft, the first shaft dug by John Reed, was named after the grandson that convinced John to start lode mining.   
How many shafts are there on the property? 36  
Where was the Reed house located? John Reed's cabin was located near the confluence of Yellow Branch Creek and Little Meadow Creek, on the east side.  His mansion, built later on, was located on the west side of Little Meadow Creek below Lake Hill. Knapp/Partz Map
1854 map Diagram  
Can you find anything other than gold here? Miners here found copper as well as gold.  For a period in the mine's history, the mine was know as Reed Copper and Gold Mine.  
Are any of the snakes poisonous? Yes, there are copperhead snakes on the property.  Please DO NOT HANDLE these snakes.  If you see any snake, please leave it alone.  
What is the Kelly Oak? Large White Oak in the Kelly's Kitchen yard near their home on Middle Hill.  It is estimated to be over 350 years old.  
What is a Chilean Mill? Diagram  
What is an Arrastra? Diagram  
Which plants on the property are poisonous? Poison Ivy and Poison Oak are prevelant on the property.  Please be careful when walking on trails.  
When did the mine close? The mine closed in 1912; however, there are records of the mine reopening in 1934/35 for placer mining. Gold Mining in NC, pg. 70.
Are you still mining here? Yes, the ore in the panning area does come from the creek; however, that is the extent of mining on the property.  The land is protected under the North Carolina State Law to maintain its historic integrity.  Digging, mining, etc., is prohibited.   
How much quartz did it take to find an ounce of gold? This depended on the amount of gold in the quartz.    
Where did the water to run the stamp mill come from? Water to run the stamp mill came from Little Meadow Creek in an area called the Lake.  Pumps were used to circulate the water.  Some water may have come from the underground mine. Barbee interview-1990's/Knapp
How did the State of NC aquire the land? The State of North Carolina acquired the property through a donation by the Kelly family.    
Did John Reed die a rich man? Yes.  
Are the Reed family still rich now? No.  
Were there mules underground? No.  
Where else can you mine? At Cottonpatch or on private property with the permission of the landowner. However, if you mine with a machine containing a motor, you must have a permit.  
Is RGM a state park? No, Reed Gold Mine is a State Historic Site run by the Department of Cultural Resources and the Division of State Historic Sites.    
What distance does the tour cover (how far to mine and back) The walk to the mine is about 400 ft, and the tunnels underground are about 400 ft. long.  
Can I take my stroller underground? Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site discouraged people from bringing their strollers underground because the wheels may not be able to roll over the stones. You may leave your stroller in the Visitor Center or at the front door of the mine.  
Where does the dirt in the panning area come from? Dirt from the panning area is taken out of Little Meadow Creek.  
Is the dirt in the panning area already picked through? Employees do not pan through the ore before it is brought to the panning area.    
Do you all pan/mine on your own time? Employees and vistitors to the site are not permitted to mine on the property other than in the panning area.  
Why does water drip underground? The drips you may feel underground are from water seeping down from the surface to settle at the water table, which is about 55 ft. underground.  
How many people work here? 7 full-time employees as well as numerous part-time staff.  
What is the green stuff underground? The green stuff on the walls of the mine is moss.  The rock containing the milky white quartz is called greenstone and also has a greenish hue.  
Who invented the stamp mill? No one seems to know who invented the Stampmill, however it has been in use since at least the Rennaisance period.  
Where did the mercury come from? Mercury is found in the stone cinnabar found randomly across America.  
Where did the black powder come from? Originally black powder invented by the Chinese. The earliest record is found in a book written around 850 ad  
Are there any gases underground? Did the use canaries?  Miners did not need to use canaries, because there were no gases underground. There are no gases because the rock does not contain organic material that produces gas.    
What are the ladders for? The ladders are safety escape routes that were added to the mine during the renovation to open the mine to the public.  They were not in the mine while the miners were working underground.  
Has the mine ever caved in? Yes. Not likely while the miners were mining, however since the mine closed rock has  decayed just like wood. As it decays, it will shift and fall.   
Where does the gold come from underground? Gold is found in the milky white quartz.  
Is there mercury in the creek from mining? Yes. Mercury has been traced by the USEPA all the way to the intracoastal waterway. The contamination levels in the intracoastal waterway are steadily increasing due the inland mining in the past century. Gold Mining in North Carolina pg. 51
How big was the largest nugget found? The largest nugget found on the property was discovered in 1803 by a slave named Peter.  He found a 28 pound gold nugget.    
Second generation forest Hardwoods  
Is there any more gold left in the potato patch? Possibly.  
Can you use a metal detector on the property? No, the use of mining equipment such as metal detectors is not permitted on the property.  Please help us maintain the historic integrity of the site.  
How big was the largest nugget found in the panning area? In about 1988 a Woman visiting from Colorado found a nugget worth $140.00  
Do you buy gold back? No, we do not buy back gold from the panning area or any other source.  
Where can you sell gold? Gold exchange and the internet has become a common place.  
Where else is gold found in NC? Gold is found in the Carolina Slate Belt.  To see a diagram of this slate belt through the middle of the state, please see the Metallic Minerals guide in the giftshop.  
Are there any operating mines in NC? Not that we know of.  
What are the fault lines called and what are their locations? The fault lines on either side of Reed Gold Mine are the Gold Hill Fault and the Silver Hill Fault. For a diagram of these faults, look in the Metallic Minerals book in the gift shop  
Where was John Reed buried? John Reed, along with his wife Sarah, are buried on the property close to the site of their house.  
What about slaves, women, and children in the family? Slaves did work in the mines with miners doing both placer and lode mining.  Women and children worked primarily above the surface placer mining. Gold Mining in North Carolina, pg. 51
Why didn't he go back to Fayetteville to collect the money? According to a state historian, John Reed may have gone back to retrieve $1000 from the sale of the nugget.  
What was Charlotte/Concord like back then?    
When was the pan invented?