Gold Hill Mines Historic Park
Gold Hill Mines Historic Park
The Russell-Rufty Memorial Shelter is a beautiful modern facility with a Conference Room (The Veteran's Room), Kitchen and Meeting Hall (Miner's Hall) on the first floor. The upstairs has a Bathroom and Dressing Area with a Full Length Mirror. The upstairs Balcony Room overlooks the Veteran's Room giving a spectacular view of the Huge Stone Fireplace. The Veteran's Room has a Vaulted Ceiling with huge exposed timber beams. The main bathroom facilities are on the ground level on the back side facing the parking area. Miner's Hall is a large room capable of seating up to 80 comfortably with tables or 100 without tables. An additional patio area with orchard stone floor and surrounding wall can be utilized for extra event seating.
The Log Barn from the Bernhardt Farm welcomes visitors to the park. The Barn and Plantation Office was donated to the Historic Foundation by Paul and Naomi Bernardt of Salisbury, NC.The barn was taken down log by log, numbered and moved to the park. It was reconstructed using the numbering as a guide. The rustic log barn is used frequently and is a beautiful setting for an informal country wedding, reception, or family gathering. The Gold Hill Men's Club hosts an Oyster Roast Fund Raiser at the barn each spring.
The Original Plantation Office from The Bernhardt Family Farm was moved to the park and restored adjacent to the site of the original Gold Hill Assay Office. The small plantation office serves as an Assay Museum dedicated to to Assay Trade. Mining artifacts photos and business account ledgers are displayed. The Assay Museum has a barred door that allows a view of the office and is open Saturday and Sunday noon - 4PM. It is also open during pre-scheduled tours and by appointment.
The Gold Hill Jail and English Dry Stacked Rock Wall was built circa. 1845. By that time the Gold Hill Mines had been consolidated and employed up to 3000 miners. The Gold Hill Mining District was comprised of 23 working gold mines with Main Street spanning a mile from one end to the other. The town is said to have had up to 23 Saloons and about 6 Brothels as well as a wheelright, carraige maker, two doctor's offices, a shoe cobbler, five or six general stores, along with numerous businesses. With the 23 saloons in town, no doubt the Jail had it's fair share of patrons as well.
The bridge near the jail crosses a shallow ravine dug under the direction of Col. C.R. Hayes, the last mining engineer to live in Gold Hill. He could not resist a 'Last Ditch' effort to find a new vein of gold. Mr. Hayes was the caretaker of the Birmingham mining properties. He died in the fire of the Gold Hill Mining Office in the winter of 1969-70. A walking trail extends from the barn to the amphitheater. It crosses the bridge and joins the Gold Hill Rail Trail. The trail passes near numerous historic sites in the park.
The Park is a great place to enjoy a day out with the family. There is a playground for the kids to play on. The Gold Hill Rail Trail and Greenway also offers hiking opportunities to sites like the Randolph Shaft, the Powder House and the Gold Hill Pond. Abundant wildlife and wildflowers can be seen in the spring, summer and fall seasons. Tours are offered which include these sites and more. Self-Guided Tour Books are also available at the E.H. Montgomery General Store in the Village of Gold Hill.
The Gold Hill Rail Trail
A hike along the Gold Hill Rail Trail through Gold Hill Mines Historic Park and the historic village will transport you back to a time when North Carolina was the country's top gold-producing state. Kiosks along the trail detail the state's gold mining history. The trail was developed along the narrow gauge railroad line in partnership with the Land Trust for Central North Carolina as an addition to Gold Hill Mines Historic Park. It is ideal for mountain bikes, walking and hiking. The old mining roads and greenways offer additional hiking opportunities adjacent to the trail to sites including the Gold Hill Jail, Gold Hill Pond and Powder House. Self-guided tour booklets and maps are available at E. H. Montgomery General Store in the village.
*Rental info for Historic Gold Hill Mines Park including: Russell-Rufty Shelter, Log Barn, Amphitheater, or other areas of the park contact Sonja Taylor at 704.279.5777
*Tour info for Historic Gold Hill Mines Park contact Vivian Hopkins at 704.267.9439