Videoconference with John Dysart
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: We have two 5th grade classes here and we would like to know- what was the heaviest piece of gold found?
Reed Gold Mine: The heaviest single piece of gold found at Reed was 28 pounds and there have been 155 3/4 lbs of gold nuggets in excess of 1 lb each.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: What year was that and who found it?
Glenn Gurley: Yes please tell us a little bit about how gold was discovered at Reed Gold Mine.
Reed Gold Mine: Conrad Reed was 12 years old and went bow and arrow fishing along Little Meadow Creek and found a nugget that weighed 17 lbs.... Unfortunately, he did not know it was gold, neither did his father John. They used it as a doorstop for three years.
Brenda McCombs: Will there ever be any more mines opened up in Cabarrus County?
Reed Gold Mine: It is highly unlikely that any more mines will be open in Cabarrus County.
|Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Who
was the Mad Miner and is it true?
Reed Gold Mine: The Mad Miner is based on a legend. Robert Gadd was arrested for allegedly killing his wife and throwing her down the mine shaft.
Brenda McCombs: Did they ever find her?
John Dysart: This was never proven all that was ever found was a locket of hair, a chain and a tooth. And then Mr. Gadd was released.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Did the Mad Miner ever kill anyone else?
Reed Gold Mine: The Mad Miner did not kill anyone else.
Glenn Gurley: Have there been any major accidents in the mine?
Reed Gold Mine: No accidents in the mine and no recorded deaths at Reed Gold Mine.
Ms. Jones' Class: How much money is the gold found in the mine worth today?
Reed Gold Mine: The standard value of gold today is $292.25 per troy ounce.
Glenn Gurley: Did this mine make the Reeds a rich family?
Reed Gold Mine: The mine did make the Reed family very rich.
|Brenda McCombs: If I wanted to find
gold in my back yard - say if I were a student in Iredell county - what would I need?
Where would be the best place to start looking?
Reed Gold Mine: If you wanted to find gold you would need a pick and a pan and a creek and permission from the property owner.
Brenda McCombs: Would some creeks be better to look in than others?
Reed Gold Mine: I do not know the creeks in Iredell county. Most any stream in Cabarrus County has the potential of having gold because it is in the Carolina Slate Belt.
Brenda McCombs: What is the Carolina Slate Belt?
Reed Gold Mine: The Carolina Slate Belt is a geological term. The belt runs 25 to 75 miles wide from Virginia through North Carolina to northern Alabama and it is in this belt where all of these states found gold.
Ms. Jones' class: How can you tell if gold is real?
Reed Gold Mine: Gold is soft and malleable and you can hit it with a hammer and make it so thin you can see through it. Pyrite (fools gold) will crumble and flake. Gold does not.
Brenda McCombs: So gold doesn't flake, it just smooshes?
Ms. Jones' class: How is gold made/formed?
Reed Gold Mine: We do not know how gold is formed - it happens deep in the earth
|Mt. Pleasant Elementary:
How many people came into the area with our "gold rush"?
Reed Gold Mine: Several thousand. In the 1830's there were 13 different languages spoken on the streets of Charlotte.
Glenn Gurley: Did many that worked the Reed rush to California for the gold rush there?
Reed Gold Mine: People left North Carolina to Georgia from Georgia to Alabama then to California which was the fourth major rush in the country.
Brenda McCombs: Was the California, North Carolina, or Alaska gold rush the biggest?
Reed Gold Mine: Alaska was by far the largest but California had the biggest impact. In 1849 there were 80,000 people that went over land and by sea to California.
Reed Gold Mine: California had the most gold found. Nevada produces 10% of all the world's gold today.
Glenn Gurley: Why is gold so important to people?
Ms. Jones' class - What is done with Gold after it is found?
Reed Gold Mine: Gold is important because it has many uses and there is not much of it therefore it is valuable. Electronics, telephones, computers, medicine, denistry and fine china are a few of the things you can find gold in. It can also be found in art work and gold leaf that is often put on capitol buildings in various states.
Brenda McCombs: What would be an unusual use for gold that we might not think of or know about?
Reed Gold Mine: It is used in medicine as a gold salt to combat the pain of arthritis.
Transylvania County: Is it still used for that -- an uncle of mine had "gold shots" -- but I do not think that is done as much any more.
Reed Gold Mine: The gold is still used in medicine. Gold is also used in alcohol.
"Gold Sheild on a helmet"
|Glenn Gurley: What was the value of
gold (per Troy ounce) when the mine was in operation?
Reed Gold Mine: When the mine closed in 1912 it was $35 per troy ounce. The government regulated the price of gold until 1973 so it was the same price. The highest price per ounce was January 1980 - $850 per troy ounce.
Ms. Jones' Class: Has there ever been silver or other metals found in the mines around there?
Reed Gold Mine: Yes, silver is generally found as a by product of a commercial gold mine along with copper. In fact, Reed was known as the Reed Gold and Copper Mining Company of New York City in 1854.
Reed Gold Mine: Ridgeway Gold Mine in South Carolina will close December 8, 1999 after producing 1.5 million ounces of gold. The first bar was poured December 9, 1989, it weighed 59 lbs. 52 lbs was gold and 7 pounds were silver.
Glenn Gurley: Did they mine year round?
Reed Gold Mine: John Reed was a farmer. He would mine after taking are of his crops.
Glenn Gurley: How much money was received for that first gold nugget and what did the Reed family purchase with the money?
Reed Gold Mine: The gold nugget that Conrad found was sold three years later for $3.50 which at that time was a weeks wage for a farmer. The jeweler turned around and sold it for $3,600.
Glenn Gurley: Did the jewler ever give the Reeds any more money?
Reed Gold Mine: John Reed never received the entire value of the nugget.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Is there any gold in the creek under the bridge at the entrance to Reed Gold Mine?
Reed Gold Mine: Yes there is gold in the creek. That is where the gold comes from for the panning area.
Transylvania County: What is the difference in white gold and yellow gold?
Reed Gold Mine: White gold has a higher concentration of other metals, ie nickel to lower its purity. Men's jewelery generally averages 10 karats whereas womens is fourteen karats. 24 karats is pure. Cabarrus County gold averaged at 98% pure.
Transylvania County: So if I go to buy jewelry -- should white gold cost the same as yellow?
Reed Gold Mine: It is really up to a jeweler on how much they charge for white gold.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: How big does gold have to be to be considered a "nugget?"
Reed Gold Mine: You have gold dust, which is the size of sugar granules. Flakes can be pin head size to the size of small bee-bee's. Nuggets are anything you can pick up with your thumb and forefinger.
|Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Are big
nuggets still being found?
Reed Gold Mine: West of the Mississippi - all the time. There are people panning for gold as a hobby in NC most every weekend. A hot spot is in southern McDowell County and Northern Rutherfordton County.
Mt.Mourne Elementary: When was the first panning started?
Reed Gold Mine: The first panning or "placer" mining started in 1803.
Transylvania County: Are there many reports of finding gold during this leisure panning that you can do at your mine?
Reed Gold Mine: People do find gold but most are very small pieces, no large nuggets.
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: What is a "rocker" used for?
Reed Gold Mine: The complete term is "cradle rocker" and it used to process a large amount of material faster when you are looking for gold.
Glenn Gurley: Does anyone have facts about gold and the Reed Gold Mine they would like to share?
Mt. Pleasant Elementary: Our assistant principal told us that people just dug for gold in their yards. They were called "gold holes."
Iredell ADR: How many people visit the mine per year now?
Reed Gold Mine: So far this year there have been 70,000 + visitors from all over the United States and from Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, England and Asia.
Reed Gold Mine: We have enjoyed everyone visiting with you today and invite you to come to Reed Gold MIne to visit us in person. You can visit our web site for directions and our hours at http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/reed/reed.htm