The 18th Gathering

November 3-5, 2017 - Salisbury & Gold Hill, NC

You’re invited to come explore the history of the United States’ initial gold rush and learn more about early mining in North Carolina in November, 2017!

“If Picks and Shovels Could Talk” is November 3-5, 2017

Photo of the Reed Gold MineDownload the Registration Form here (PDF file).

Was your grandfather a miner? Do you know what a Pasty is? Have you heard of Cornwall? This might just be the event for you to find out more.

If Picks and Shovels Could Talk
NOVEMBER 3-5, 2017

The Cornish American Heritage Society is featuring an area of the U.S. whose Cornish history is new to many of us. Gold Hill and nearby Salisbury, North Carolina, are rich in gold mining legend and lore. Salisbury is on I-85 midway between Charlotte and Greensboro. As we know, not only do mines and miners make history, but the cultural and social development surrounding them is of significance — this promises to be a memorable event.

Located halfway between Charlotte and Greensboro, Rowan County, North Carolina is home to the Reed Gold Mine, where the first documented discovery of gold in the United States took place in 1799. North Carolina led the nation in gold production until 1848, when the California Gold Rush started. During the peak of gold mining in North Carolina, it was second only to farming in the number of North Carolinians it employed. The Reed Mine continued operations until 1912, when the last gold nugget was found.

If Picks and Shovels Could Talk is the theme of the 18th Gathering, and it will feature workshops and tours at the mine and in nearby Gold Hill, North Carolina covering a variety of topics. It will be a great time to explore the history of the Cornish in North America, their genealogy, culture, economics, and heritage. It will be a great time to meet old friends, make new ones, and make connections between the past and today.

Information on the 18th Gathering

Registration Information

Photo of the Gold Hill Mining District historical marker.Cost: $150 per person (includes trolley transport to all events, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, workshops about the mining history of the Gold Hill area, evening entertainment, Cornish cream tea in Gold Hill, tours of Gold Hill and historic cemetery. Optional tours of Salisbury and Reed Gold Mine also available.).

To Register, download the Registration Form(PDF file), print it, fill it out, and follow the instructions included on it.

Schedule of Events

Friday November 3

  • Friday Morning – Optional tour ($10) – Narrated trolley tour of Historic Salisbury and the Fulton Street neighborhood, where many of the mine owners, investors, and captains lived.
  • Friday afternoon – Optional tour ($10) – Narrated trolley tour of Reed Gold Mine with visitors’ center orientation film, museum, underground guided tour.
  • Friday evening – Dinner buffet at Historic Trolley Barn and Entertainment

Saturday, November 4

  • Welcome and Opening Session at Trolley Barn
  • Workshops
  • Lunch at Morgan Ridge Winery with luncheon speaker
  • Afternoon at Gold Hill – Self-guided walking tours
  • Visit shops in restored village buildings
  • Trolley rides to cemetery
  • Cream Tea
  • Saturday evening – Pasty Dinner at Trolley Barn
  • Concert of Cornish music by Brass Ensemble from Catawba College

Sunday, November 5

Historical map of mining areas in the piedmont of North CarolinaSelf-Guided Tours (Before or After The Gathering or instead of the optional tours)

  • Pfeiffer College Library – located in Salisbury and said to be the finest geneology library east of Salt Lake City
  • Rowan Museum – Salisbury 1854 courthouse, example of pre-Civil War architecture, houses artifacts and displays on the life and history of Rowan County.
  • North Carolina Transportation Museum – 3 miles north on I-85 in Spencer. Traces the history of transportation in Wagons, Wheels, & Wings. Train rides available. A train-lover’s mecca!
  • Waterworks Visual Arts Center – in Salisbury next to the Trolley Barn. Exhibits North Carolina artists’ work.

Registration Times & Packet Pickup

Registration will be open on Friday, November 3 from 9:00-10:00 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m., and 3:00-5:00 p.m. A folder of information about the schedule, meals, workshop presenters, entertainment, etc. will be waiting for you at the check-in point in the hotel lobby (Holiday Inn Express in Salisbury, NC). You will make your own hotel arrangements.

Event Hotel Information Update

  • The group reservation for the Gathering is at the Holiday Inn Express in Salisbury, North Carolina, under the name of “Cornish Cousins”. The rate is $124./night and includes breakfast.
  • Attendees should make their own reservations under our group name.
  • All trolley transport pick-ups to events and meals will be in the parking lot of this hotel, so if you choose to reserve somewhere else, you will need to get to the Holiday Inn Express to catch the trolley.

Need More Information?

If you have questions or would like more details on the 18th Gathering, please contact us.