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. Among its significant historic sites is the Reed Gold Mine, a National Historic Landmark.
Gold was first discovered here in 1799 by Conrad Reed in an unincorporated part of southeast Cabarrus County. Reed was the son of John Reed, 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. There he started a farm. Later his son Conrad Reed discovered a large gold nugget on the property. John Reed later sold the gold nugget for a week's worth of wages on a trip to Fayetteville before realizing the economic significance of his son's findings.
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. So much gold was discovered in the county that the Charlotte Mint was built to handle it.
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.