This week's Fact Friday comes from the UNC Charlotte Special Collections and University Archives. Shout out to their team for this incredible find. Please, please, please follow them on Instagram if you love history.
Before the Charlotte skyline stood tall as a proud symbol of the Queen City, uptown Charlotte was home to a number of gold mines. Emma Peoples Smith remembers a time during her youth in the 1930s and 40s when she and her friends would frequent old and abandoned gold mines near her family home on Stardust Road, even though they weren't supposed to. She tells of how the Mint Mines in particular produced some gold and silver throughout the 1840s. In 2005, as the city grew and changed, geospatial techniques were used to locate some of the old gold mines underneath the city. This was to aid in collecting more information on the potential building hazards that could result in developing over gold mines as the city developed more towards the southwest region, replacing the warehouse district. The Macomb Mine (which was turned into St. Catherines Mine in 1826) which was Mecklenburg County’s largest gold mine, was located just ten minutes away from what is now Bank of America Stadium and fifteen minutes away from The Bank of America Building. Much of Charlotte’s wealth now comes not from gold, but the financial industry that calls the region home.
Aerial Views Of The City Of Charlotte, North Carolina, Grindstone Media Grp. Adobe Stock.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Goldmine Maps, MS0519, August 29, 2023, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections map collection, 1687 - 2010, UNC Charlotte.
Can you imagine being able to just go outside and play in abandoned gold mines?? I thought I was just having fun playing in creeks!!
Until next week!
UNC Charlotte Special Collections and University Archives page on Instagram; September 12, 2023.
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“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin