From the June 2016, Our State Magazine (North Carolina) "Striking Gold" by Alan Hodge.
The first documented discovery of gold in the United States took place in 1799 on John Reed's farm in Cabbarus County, N.C., when his son pulled a 17 pound gold nugget out of Little Meadow Creek.
In the first half of the 19th century, North Carolina was the country's leading gold producing statewith more than 50 mines employing 25,000 workers. That, however, changed in 1849 with the start of the California Gold Rush.
A branch of the U.S. Mint was completed in Charlotte in 1837 and made coins from locally mined gold. In 1901, Thomas Edison experimented there with a process for separating gold from ore using electricity.