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Gold Rush in Franklin Co, 1838 onwards

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Gold Rush in Franklin Co, 1838 onwards

Sandy (View posts)
Posted: 968673600000
Classification: Query
Surnames: PORTIS, STURGES
I am not researching these surnames, but thought the following may be of help to other researchers:

source: "The Carolina Gold Rush America's First," by Bruce Roberts, published 1971 by McNally and Loftin, Charlotte; no ISBN no. listed, but Library of Congress Card Catalog no. is listed as 70-165464;

various excerpts from pp.35-39:
1838 Isaac PORTIS lived in log home on his farm in Franklin County ("with a shotgun blast from the corner of his field he could almost scatter pellets in four counties: Halifax, Warren, Nash and Franklin.")
One night in 1838 he provided lodging to a peddlar traveling from Raleigh to Halifax. The peddlar saw gold flecks glittering in the clay on PORTIS' land. PORTIS sent samples of the clay to Raleigh and Richmond and confirmed gold.

PORTIS sent regular shipments of gold dust to the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia - "some say he had receipts showing $800,000, when the War Between the States brought the curtain down on one of the Carolina's lustiest mini-gold rushes."

About $3 million in gold was mined in Franklin, Nash, Halifax and Warren counties before the Civil War.

"While the War brought an end to one era of gold mining in Franklin County, it started another. A gallant Union Colonel named William STURGES who had assisted the widow of a Confederate officer in finding his body after the battle of Gettysburg was so struck with the young woman that after the War he courted and married her. He sold his profitable saddlery manufactory in New Jersey and purchased the PORTIS property.
Colonel STURGES with the skill and the best mining equipment he could purchase put the mine back into operation. When he died in 1894 he left a comfortable legacy to his eight children.
"Phil STURGES, son of the Colonel, panned many an ounce of gold dust from the clay. In 1947 a newspaper writer said that STURGES still had a few of the original gold nuggests from the PORTIS Mine which he kept for sentimental reasons."

"It was said that Phil STURGES could trace a vein of gold better with his finger than any man alive."

"In the spring of 1935 the Norlina Company of Lansing, Michigan acquired the PORTIS property near Wood, NC, along with the Whitehouse mine tract near Fishing Creek."

"One of the last attempts to work the PORTIS Mine was made during the depression years by the Norlina Mining Comnpany, but by then most of the placer deposits had been worked out and although there was talk of a 'mother lode,' it apparently was never located."

"In 1936 all operations were abandoned and equipment was either left where it stood or sold. Some of it can still be seen today although it is rapidly growing up in forest, and young pines obscure the foundations of the building which once held the large ore crushers, thrusting green needles upwards beside the rusting equipment. This land was once a peaceful cotton field, then it knew the excitement of the gold miners swarming over it with their equipment. Now all is quiet again as it nurtures trees for a paper company. Soon, all 900 acres will be reclaimed by the forest, but even in recent years prospectors have panned the stream and still find 'color.'"

--end excerpts; remember, this book was published in 1971

I have some information on North Carolina's Gold Rush posted at:
http://members.home.net/teylu/jenkins/gold_nc.html
or click on the hyperlink below....
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Sandy 968673600000 
Lee_Nave 987076800000 
DuckRoberson 987163200000 
Lee_Nave 987163200000 
DuckRoberson 987163200000 
Dorian 1016324947000 
SGragg58 1176406392000 
SGragg58 1176406417000 
Alfred Sturge... 1536768648000 
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