I originally learned that Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, Calif., was the site of the first gold rush in America. But the Waxhaw-Weddington Rotary and the Museum of the Waxhaws have disabused me of that notion.The first of the fall “Listen and Learn” lecture series will be Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. It will be a presentation by George McDonald of the Gold History Corp. McDonald will talk about the history of gold mining in this region of North Carolina, which began with the discovery of gold in Cabarrus County in 1803.Tickets can be purchased online at http://museumofthewaxhaws.org in advance for $7, with a $4 discount for all full-time students. Reservations are suggested. If you register online, call Arthur Lightbody at 704-843-6048 to secure your reservation.Waxhaw-Weddington Rotary Club and Museum of the Waxhaws, located at 8215 Waxhaw Highway, present a lecture series every third Sunday at 3 p.m., September through November, and January through April.The new lecture series will offer a wide range of historical and current topics. Any income received will benefit the museum and PolioPlus, the Rotary International program to eradicate polio worldwide.When I began to dig for information, I read “The History of Howie Gold Mine and Bonnie Belle Mine,” by Bill Howie of Mineral Springs. Howie wrote that, “Little Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County was the site of the first recorded gold in America, and what a find it was.”He said John Reed’s son, Conrad, was playing in the creek in 1799 when he found a 17-pound nugget. Howie goes on to relate that the nugget was used as a doorstop for several years until it was shown to be gold; then the search began in and around the creek.I also learned that in 1825, Matthias Baringer discovered the gold was coming from a vein in the creek bank.“Word spread quickly, even to Europe, which led to the influx of thousands pouring into North Carolina during the first 30 years of the 19th century,” Howie wrote. “An 1830 official report showed 30,000 searching for gold in this state.” McDonald will take the audience through the rich history that followed the discovery. McDonald moved to Mint Hill in 1984 and is known as the “The Mint Hill Prospector.” On the website ( http://www.ncgoldhistory.com), it says: “In 1973, the Gold History Corp. was organized as a nonprofit, nonstock educational corporation to promote the preservation of North Carolina’s gold mining heritage.” Their primary project has been to aid in the development of the Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site. Earlier this year, Gold History Corp. made a contribution to the Museum of the Waxhaws to help develop the gold mining exhibit.Museum Director Gay Diller said the Museum will be featuring gold panning exhibitions on Sept. 14-15, concurrent with McDonald’s presentation.Michael Lanphier, president of the Museum of the Waxhaws Board of Directors said, “We were pleased with the successful launch of the lecture series last spring and feel that the series will now be enjoyed by more people and provide a significant educational benefit for this region.”Arthur Lightbody, known around the Waxhaw region for his portrayals as Andrew Jackson in one-man shows and in his role as a Waxhaw-Weddington Sunrise Club Rotarian, will again act as emcee.Future lectures this fall include “How We got our English Bible,” in October, and “Catawba Indian Pottery and Tribal History,” in November.
Friday, Sep. 06, 2013
Waxhaw: Museum lecture series set to begin
John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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