Stanly County Historical Society promotes gold mining program

“Gold Mining in the Southern Piedmont” will be the topic of the next program to be offered by the Stanly County Historical Society.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Stanly County Historical Society will host Aaron Kepley in the sanctuary of Wesley Chapel Church in Misenheimer.

Kepley started his career at the Stanly County Museum as an intern under Jonathan Underwood, one of the Stanly County Museum’s former directors.

Kepley is a graduate of Pfeiffer University with a major in history. Following his internship at the Stanly County Museum, Kepley served as assistant site manager at Reed Gold Mine in Midland for a number of years.

Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. From this discovery, gold mining gradually spread to nearby counties and eventually into other southern states.

During its peak years gold mining was second only to farming in the number of North Carolinians it employed.

While working at Reed Gold Mine Kepley worked as site coordinator for Gabriel Seth Koch, writer/director of the historical action/drama “Like Rats in a Trap.”

Until recently Aaron Kepley was director of the Rowan Museum in downtown Salisbury.

As a result of this position Kepley developed a desire to write a comprehensive history of Rowan County. He is working on the first half of this book.

Kepley’s presentation will provide an overview of gold mining in piedmont North Carolina from the earliest days when 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound nugget in a small creek near the site of the current Reed Gold Mine until the disaster at the Barringer Mine located near Wesley Chapel Church.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. To register by phone call the Stanly County History Center at 704-986-3777. Include your name, telephone number and the number in your group. To register online go to the Historical Society’s website historicstanly.org.