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SouthEnd "Gold District"


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Forgive me if this thread has been started before, but I couldn't find it. Here's an image from a disc I ordered from The North Carolina Geological Survey. This image is one of several from the disc. I keep thinking the South End would be a great place for a restaurant or business to open utilizing one of the old shafts or mine entrances. There's a famous restaurant in Santo Domingo, DR. called "La Cueva". It's a restaurant inside a cave entrance. Very famous. If I didn't already have a career I'd be tempted.
file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Administrator/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/charlotte_hazards_.jpg

post-18011-0-94175600-1326722317_thumb.j

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It's amazing to think how many of the shafts and tunnels are probably just under the surface. The first and primary mine, St. Catherine's, began where the Beazer land was scraped recently. The quartz vein ran south from there more or less following the ridge line down to about Summit. At that point The Rudisill mine was started and eventually connected to St. Catherines. And, of course there were probably a dozen or more shafts dug into the hill along the way. Sounds like there was more gold dug out of that hill than anywhere else in the Southeast, including Reed's. I've been panning some samples of Irwin Creek lately, but haven't come up with much.

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This particular map only shows the 3rd Ward area to The South End. There are a couple of other maps on the disc, but none include Villa Heights as far as I know. According to what I've read, at one point there were over 100 mines in Mecklenburg County alone. My aunt has an old shaft in her front yard, and she lives off Providence Rd. It's very possible there were some in Villa Heights. If you tour The Hezekia Alexander House (behind Charlotte Museum) you can see 'glory holes' where miners dug into the earth looking. Most of those are from the Great Depression (from what the docent told me at the time).

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So THAT'S where the term "glory holes" came from.....I have always wondered LOL! Ok, back on topic now! I have a friend in southwest Charlotte that has an old min shaft in her back yard. Her back yard is actually caving in where the shaft is. You cant go out there when its dark cause you will fall in.

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  • 1 year later...

Looks like local business finally want to publicly address Charlotte's gold mining history by carving out a 'Gold District' in that part of South End.

CBJ Article here Thoughts and opinions?

Well well... Seems like a fantasy topic that's been kicked around here over the years might "pan" out.

I like the Gold District idea. Though there's obviously more to it than just renaming a part of SouthEnd.

How intriguing.

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As some (hopefully most) of you know Charlotte was the epicenter of one of the largest Gold Rushes in the nations history. There were a bunch of mines that were active through much of the 1800s in Charlotte. It was started after the Reed Family (reed gold mine) discovered that the 17 pound shiny rock they'd been using as a door stop was actually a chunk of solid gold. 

 

Many of us have been calling for SOMETHING/ANYTHING to be done to make this significant piece of Queen City History something more prominent/important to the urban landscape.

 

Well our wishes have finally been answered by Stephen Overcash an architect at Overcash Demmitt Architects. It seems they have started the process of rebranding the 13 blocks around The Rudisill gold mine, which runs under and throughout SouthEnd as "THE GOLD DISTRICT". The brand would be applied to a 46-acre area bordered by South Church Street, Morehead Street, West Summit Avenue and Graham Street. They will seek to rezone the area in order to allow higher density development and street level retail, all the while preserve the historical buildings that are sprinkled throughout the area. Hopefully we see a small museum in the area.

 

More information can be found here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/going_green/2013/12/gold-district-mines-south-end.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

What would you like to see done in the newly named "Gold District"

 

I personally am very excited about this news, and look forward to the kinds of things that they have planned. I always thought that Mint Street had some of the best potential of any street in and around the Center City. There is a great stock of historical buildings and storefronts, and its a short walk from Camden and Downtown Alike. Please feel free to share any thoughts or ideas. 

 

A stakeholders meeting for the Gold District branding will be held Monday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Unknown Brewing Co., 1327 Mint Street. Everyone should go!

Edited by Guest
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Looks like local business finally want to publicly address Charlotte's gold mining history by carving out a 'Gold District' in that part of South End.

CBJ Article here   Thoughts and opinions?

Damn looks like we posted at the same time. I started a new thread solely for the gold district.

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^^All good, I must say that CLT news travels fast In NYC. ;) The mines intrigue me as they were the first 'historical' aspect of CLT I discovered when moving here. Being from RVA, I love discovering the layers of history that can be peeled back in a city.. and for CLT this is about as historically intriguing as it's going to get I think..

Edited by RVA2CLT
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I merged two threads, but there was definitely an old thread I can't find. 

 

I LOVE this idea, especially since this area does have a way to benefit from distinct branding.  First, it is a REAL history and not some fake made up history generated from a consultant report.  It was part of why Charlotte exists as anything more than a village, so why not have it be a neighborhood district?    I also firmly believe that Summit St should be put back to its original name "Gold St" between Cedar or the closure at the railroad crossing to Camden/Tryon.  Not only is it already confusing because it has become disconnected by 2 other sections of Summit, but the original name is actually cool and historic to the city.

 

This area has the potential for dense development, and while SouthEnd and Wilmore both are decent neighborhood brands, being the Gold District within Southend seems really good.   Sometimes these districts gain traction, sometime not as much.  The Garden District in First Ward has mixed amount of usage, but was at least a positive influence when the area was being developed, and when I lived there, people in the neighborhood used it a lot.  

 

This of course should coincide with some sort of museum to our gold-digging past that incorporate something of the tunnels that still are down there and any other artifacts that happen to be able to be summoned together for a small museum.   I think it is intriguing enough for people to still want to learn about, and I would have taken my family there this past holiday way more readily than the NASCAR or other stuff.    At minimum, buying some valuable Charlotte-minted coins would be cool and may even already be in the banks or Charlotte History Museum's possession along with other cool artifacts.

 

For that matter, maybe subdividing SouthEnd further would help add more clarity to zones within such a long SouthEnd neighborhood.   At least for the oddball sections like this and the newly annexed New Bern area.   Keeping it SouthEnd, but with a subdistrict like the wards.   Just nofa king South End South stuff.

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anyone want to buy this and see where these mine shafts are? http://nc-maps.stores.yahoo.net/ncopre20oldg.html

From the looks of that cover shot it appears there may be a mine shaft on one of those cleared lots for the pipe foundry. There's your 'mine exhibit site right there if the.. *insert organization here* could manage to hornswoggle the land back

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There could also be a Gold Walk route like the Liberty Walk, passing you past gold mine sites, early banking sites, the Mint location, the WF History Museum, Federal Reserve and other banking history sites in addition to new Gold mining spots in SouthEnd.  Albeit that like the Liberty Walk, it would mainly be plaques of "[This piece of crap blank wall/surface parking lot] was once [something pretty badass]".

 

 

http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/commentary/59/entry

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Kind of building of dubone's last statement, I think it would be pretty cool to make the entire area act as an outdoor museum. Plaques, statues, interactive exhibits and other items could tastefully be integrated throughout a master plan while new buildings with more density fill the gaps with appropriate themes/architecture.

This of course would take a lot of cooperation.

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