Cabarrus County is a county located in the south-central part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 178,011. The county seat is Concord, which was incorporated in 1803.
The county was settled mainly by Germans on the Eastern side and the Scotch-Irish in the Western area of the county. There was a need to choose a location for the county seat to develop facilities for county government but the Germans and Scotch-Irish each wanted the county seat to be in an area close to their populations and were unable to come to an agreement. Stephen Cabarrus wrote to the citizens pleading with them to come together in peace to choose a location for their county seat. A central area of the county was chosen in 1796 and aptly named Concord, a derivative of two French words "with" and "peace." Representative Paul Barringer introduced a bill into state legislature to incorporate Concord and this bill passed on December 17, 1806. The town of Concord was begun on land owned by Samuel Huie and wife Jane Morrison Huie.
The first substantiated gold find in America was in 1799 by young Conrad Reed while playing in Little Meadow Creek in southeastern Cabarrus County located on the Reed farm. According to research, Conrad's find was approximately the size of a shoe and weighed 17 pounds. John Reed, father of Conrad, took the nugget into Concord to a silversmith who informed Reed that the rock did not have any value and the elder Reed took the rock home where it stayed for three years until a trip in 1802 to Fayetteville where Reed sold the nugget to a jeweler for $3.50. Over time news traveled back to John Reed that the jeweler sold the nugget for several thousand dollars and Reed traveled back to Fayetteville to ensure he was more fairly compensated; this spurred the beginning of gold mining in the area
John Reed or Johannes Rieth as he was known in Staatsarchiv at Marburg, Germany was one of thousands of Hessian soldiers brought over by British troops to fight against rebellious colonists in the American Revolution. John Reed deserted, as did many other Hessians, and migrated from Georgia to North Carolina, where he settled in an ethnic German community sometime around 1787 and began farming.
John Reed first developed placer mining on his property, then underground mining, and became wealthy from the gold. His mine became known as Reed's Gold Mine. Large amounts of gold were being discovered at the Reed Gold Mine and in other mines in the United States; these mine owners began to use their gold to create currency. In order for the government to retain control of the production of currency and keep a stabilized economic structure, President Andrew Jackson signed into legislation the authorization to create branches of the US Mint. The Charlotte Mint was built to handle the gold coming from the rich gold veins of North Carolina which included Reed Gold Mine.
The Reed Gold Mine was designated a National Historic Landmark, as it was the first gold mine in the country. Gold was mined in North Carolina into the early 20th century. Visitors at the site today can explore some of the mine's reconstructed tunnels.