Donate to Hurricane Recovery

Reed Gold Mine 1850s Mining Event

Event Description

In 1799, 12-year-old Conrad Reed discovered a 17-pound gold nugget while fishing in Little Meadow Creek. After years serving as a doorstop, the nugget was determined to be gold in by a jeweler in 1802 and bought for $3.50. From there, gold mining began in earnest along the Reed property. Gold mining at Reed changed from mainly digging up the dirt (placer miining) and looking for visible gold through the 1820s, to underground (or load mining) in the 1830s following quartz veins below the surface. Reed continued to incorporate newer mining techniques through the years, eventually adding a machine shop and boiler on top of Upper Hill to incorporate steam power to operate the pumps and hoists across the property. 

Reed will highlight the 1850s mining era through living history demonstrations of surface and underground mining, hands-on mining activities and general demonstrations. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate cradle and log rockers, used to sort through dirt and find large nuggets on the surface. Other interpreters will show how blasting holes were drilled and gold bearing quartz rock was removed from the mine. The California-type 10-stamp mill will be in operation to show how rock was mixed with mercury to extract gold.

Visitors will also be able to pan for gold during the event, for an additional charge of $3.21 per pan for those 8 years old or older. Younger children can assist in panning for gold.