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“Finding Gold in Them Thar Hills” at Reed Gold Mine September 9

Gold at Reed Gold Mine

Folks from across the state will search for gold in them hills at Reed Gold Mine Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The 28th Annual Pan-O-Lympics, also known as the North Carolina Open Gold Panning Competition, will be underway. There will be fun, prizes and activities for young and old.

Experienced gold panners and novices alike will compete for speed along historic Little Meadow Creek, site of the first documented gold discovery in the U.S. in 1799. Modern-day prospectors are invited to share the excitement. Competitors will be issued gravity trap pans containing sand and four gold nuggets. They must remove as much sand as possible and leave all four nuggets and face penalties if nuggets are missing.

The Pro and Amateur Division each will have an adult and junior (14 and under) category. Entry fees for the Pro category are $15 for adult and $10 for junior categories. The Amateur division fees are $5 for adults and juniors. Pros are contestants who have competed the prior two years. Fees can be paid in advance or on the day of competition. The Pro Division will practice between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., with competition between 11 a.m. and noon. Amateurs will practice between noon and 1 p.m., with competition between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Proceeds from the Pan-O-Lympics benefit the Reed Expansion Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site and North Carolina’s gold mining history.

Free activities available will include guided underground tours, demonstrations of the 1895 stamp mill which crushed ore to extract gold, and an orientation film and visitor center exhibits. There will also be a Vulcan Minerals display and Carolina Prospectors will have items for sale. Panning will be available for $3.21 (tax included) for all 8 and older.

About Reed Gold Mine
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is part of the N.C. Division of State Historic Sites. Reed Gold Mine preserves the site of the first documented discovery of gold in the United States. Restored mine tunnels are shown to visitors by interpreters who share the story of that first discovery and the work of the miners to retrieve gold from the creek bed and from solid rock. Reed Gold mine further interprets the history of North Carolina’s mining heritage through exhibits, special events and off-site presentations. Panning for gold is a popular hands-on activity in warm months. Interpreters and programs also interpret the importance of gold, mining and geology in our culture and as an economic and social force in the region.

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