'Up Front' Celebrates Grand Re-Openings in Latest Episode
Sep 24, 2020 04:55PM
By Jason Huddle
Episode 76: Grand Reopenings
With the move to Phase 2.5, some museums and venues are starting reopen, at least on a limited basis. This week, we talk to representatives from two such places, Larry Neil from Reed Gold Mine and Noelle Rhodes Scott, of the Cabarrus Arts Council. They'll talk about what visitors can expect as they return to these local favorite locations. We'll also tell you about some other places opening in the area as well!
Jason Huddle 00:00
This week on Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. With the move into phase 2.5. museums in Cabarrus County are beginning to reopen. But safety is still on the forefront of everybody's mind. Let's get into your safety protocols. What kind of procedures can people expect when they come and visit the galleries? This week we talked representatives from two such museums, Reed`s Goldmine, and The Galleries located in the historic Cabarrus courthouse. We'll talk about what visitors can expect as they revisit these family favorite places, as well as safety protocols. And you might even learn a little history along the way, talking about regal mine and why it's so special to this area. Well, we are the first documented discovery of gold in America. This week we're celebrating grand reopenings on Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus, I'm your host Jason Huddle.
Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I am sitting on location at Reed Goldmine once again reopened to the public. And I am sitting with Larry Neal. He runs things around here. He is the gold meister and Larry, first of all, thanks for being on the program.
Larry Neal 06:10
Oh, great. Im glad to, glad to be here today.
Jason Huddle 06:14
So let's talk about the gold mine. It's been a long drought here without people. How's that been for you guys?
Larry Neal 06:21
Well, we've actually been open partially, since the end of May. We've actually had our trails our outdoor walking trails open, so we haven't been totally closed off. But as of last Saturday, we're allowing visitors to once again go through the visitor center, see our exhibits, be able to go underground in the mind and still walk on our trails on the property
Jason Huddle 06:43
Are all the things in the visitor center open the movie, everything?
Larry Neal 06:46
Unfortunately, the movie is not.
Jason Huddle 06:49
Larry Neal 06:49
All the exhibits are available and our gift shop as well.
Jason Huddle 06:54
So let's talk about a little bit about the history of the mine for those listeners that aren't as familiar with Reed Goldmine, which is I grew up here, of course, I took many a field trip here as a child, but talk about Reed Goldmine and why it's so special to this area.
Larry Neal 07:07
Well, we are the first documented discovery of gold in America. It all happened in 1799. When 12 year old Conrad Reed out with his siblings, were walking along little Meadow Creek. And he stumbled upon this interesting, shiny rock in the bottom of the creek. Being a typical kid, and not knowing what it was he figured Well I`ll just take it home and show my parents they'll know what it is. So I took it home, he showed it to his father, John Reed. Now john was from Germany. He came over to America during the Revolutionary War as a Hessian soldier. He ended up staying in America and settling in this part of North Carolina. So he would have been familiar with gold, but not in its natural nugget form. But he notice two things about it. One, it was rather large and it was rather heavy. So he figured I tell you what, we'll just leave it on the porch here and use it as a doorstop until we figure out what it is. They walk beside this for three years before finally an 1802. He took this with him to Fayetteville on a supply run. Showed it to a local jeweler. Who knew it was gold in asked John Reed to name his price. Turns out this was a 17 pound gold nugget. Think of something a little bit bigger than a softball potentially. And so John thought about it and he said $3 and 50 cents.
Jason Huddle 08:34
Larry Neal 08:35
Because for john on his farm, that was what he figured a week's profit should be. So for a supposedly worthless rock. That's not it shouldn't be a bad offer. Problem is the gold value then was $3,600.
Jason Huddle 08:54
So how much would that be in today's money?
Larry Neal 09:00
Well right now gold has been over $2,000 an ounce.
Jason Huddle 09:05
Am ounce and you're talking about 17 pounds. You do the math on that one.
Larry Neal 09:11
A large yet of money for that, but knowing that gold was on his property, and then he did realize that it actually was valuable. Sure, they started mining for gold.
Jason Huddle 09:23
Larry Neal 09:23
This area was pretty much 50 years before the California strike of 1848. Looking for gold. John's was the first gold mine in that United States. Wasn't necessarily the most profitable, but did start the gold mining through this area and into South Carolina as well.
Jason Huddle 09:44
So the mine operated as a normal goldmine until when?
Larry Neal 09:49
John Reed and his partners operated it until his death in 1845. Then it went through several hands. It's actually closed for a while during the Civil War after the Civil War. It started changing hands again. Finally, the Kelly family out of Springfield, Ohio purchased it in 1895. And they operated it until 1912 and at that point they shut the mine down and thankfully kept the property intact to allow us to have the stage storage site that we have today.
Jason Huddle 10:20
When was the last significant find of gold on this property.
Larry Neal 10:24
in 1896, Jacob Shin, Matt Cox and some other gentlemen, were looking at an area down around little Meadow Creek, kind of where the original road headed across a to upper Hill. They were digging about five to 10 feet below the surface. They found something they didn't quite look right. So they first checked it off to the side kept going. Well, finally, Jacob Shin, took that down to the creek, washed it off, turn around and immediately, boys we've got it because what they ended up finding was a 23 pound Gold Nugget in April of 1896.
Jason Huddle 11:03
Larry Neal 11:03
And that is the last known large nugget that was found on the property.
Jason Huddle 11:08
Wow, so when people come today, what can they expect in the visitor center? What kind of things do you have for them to look at?
Larry Neal 11:15
We have mining equipment that would have been used the pumps the machinery to pull the water out of the lower levels of the mind, Reed mine was about 150 feet deep at its deepest point. So once they hit the water table, they had to start removing the water constantly to allow them further deeper access into the mind so you see some of that equipment. You will see the other tools used in the mining industry, you'll see an (inaudiable) office where when they would go through and find the veins of courts, they had to determine the gold content of the vein. So in order to do that, they had to have a chemically assez to determine how much gold is expected per tonne as they continue through the vein. So you would see that activity, you would you also see some gold nuggets and such that were found in Cabarrus County.
Jason Huddle 12:08
One of the things that's really cool about Reed Goldmine is you can still go in to part of the mine, which is really neat and that is has reopened as you mentioned earlier.
Larry Neal 12:16
Yes. You end up going 50 feet below the surface, through about 400 feet of original tunnel that was constructed between the 1830s and the 1850s. We've widened the tunnels to allow people to easily access but you can still see some of the original areas, some of the original veins that were dug out to extract the gold.
Jason Huddle 12:39
Before I let you go, Larry, tell us once again, when your hours are when people can visit and then how they can find out more information about Reed Goldmine.
Larry Neal 12:48
We are open right now Tuesday through Saturday, nine to five. We have you can go onto our Reed Goldmine website to get more information a matter of fact one of the things we're working on now, since a lot of the school systems are not able to come out to our site, we are working on specific digital material that's going on our website to allow teachers and parents at home to access some of the information about our site as well. But you can go on our website, we also have our Reed Goldmine Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter.
Jason Huddle 13:23
And is there a cost to come by?
Larry Neal 13:26
Currently, since we are not able to pan for gold, which we would normally still be doing through the end of October, there is no fee to visit the mine.
Jason Huddle 13:35
So free entertainment for the family, and it's educational.
Larry Neal 13:39
And we have a picnic area if you'd like to bring your lunch and kinda to make a day out of it as well.
Jason Huddle 13:43
Sounds awesome. Larry Neal with Reed Goldmind. Thanks for being on the program today.
Larry Neal 13:47
Jason Huddle 13:48
You guys stay tuned. We'll be back with Noel Rhodes Scott. She's with the Cabarrus Arts Council. And she's going to talk to us about things that they're reopening this week as well. Stay tuned.
Jason Huddle 15:19
Welcome back to the program we have now on the line with us Noel Rhodes Scott. She is in charge of the Cabarrus Arts Council. And first of all, Noel, thank you so much for joining us today.
Noel Rhodes Scott 15:31
Jason, thank you so much. Really appreciate everything you do.
Jason Huddle 15:35
Appreciate it. Noel is a returning guest. She has been on our program before and we are thrilled to have her on again, especially in these times because you guys are opening back up to the public finally.
Noel Rhodes Scott 15:49
We can't wait. I tell you what, you know, if you had said two months ago, we could open up to the public. We would not have wanted to because you know, people still weren't wearing masks. We just didn't know as much about the virus. But when the governor said that museums could open it 50% capacity and then the county, we are in a county building and the county gave us permission also to open. We then sat down and reviewed our safety protocols and exactly how we want it to reopen so that everyone is safe, and can enjoy all of the wonderful gift opportunities and the artwork inside.
Jason Huddle 16:31
Wonderful, now let's talk about that. First of all, let's get into your safety protocols. What kind of procedures can people expect when they come and visit the galleries?
Noel Rhodes Scott 16:41
Sure, we are going to limit guests to 10 that is less than 50% capacity. We want to make sure that everyone can very easily keep a good six feet spaced among them while they look at the art and every one will be required to wear masks. We have a sneeze guard up at the front people who are regular shoppers with us will notice that we now have our point of sale at the front door. It will be no cash or check all you know touchless pay. We will also have sanitation stands all over with with sprays. And if people want to handle artwork, they are invited to put on disposable gloves so they can feel comfortable that they can pick up art and look at it especially pottery and jewelry and things like that. People like to touch it and just to make sure that we keep everything very sanitary.
Jason Huddle 17:42
Yeah, okay. Very good and is there a special exhibit on display right now? Or is it just local art? What what can people come and enjoy right now?
Noel Rhodes Scott 17:52
Right now we have an exhibit called tone. It's actually been up as you can imagine, since March. We usually switch exhibits every three months and the photographer's in turn. were gracious enough to allow us to just keep them in our galleries and we expanded it through the summer but people have only seen it virtually. That will only be up this Thursday and Friday, tomorrow and Friday. On Saturday, the artists will start picking up their work and then we will start receiving the artwork for clay which is a really popular exhibit every year as we head into the holiday season.
Jason Huddle 18:34
I'm just going to take a guest and think that has something to do with pottery and clay sculptures, I'm just spitballing.
Noel Rhodes Scott 18:41
Do you know what you are one of the smartest people I know.
Jason Huddle 18:45
Nothing gets by me.
Noel Rhodes Scott 18:46
That was awesome, yes, and we love it because it's everything from it's it's local. It's all North Carolina potter's a lot from Seegrove and this year on Dan Truit, who's a very favorite potter of people who come and collect from us. We are highlighting him as he gets ready to retire. And so it's going to be a very special exhibit. And for the first time ever, Jason, we usually close our galleries during transition time. While we're receiving boxes and shipping things out, and all that we are going to keep it open so that people can still come in and shop, the gallery shop, the gift shop, and they can kind of see this beautiful mess that goes on.
Jason Huddle 19:36
Sort of behind the scenes kind of thing, right?
Noel Rhodes Scott 19:39
It does. Yeah. But we're so excited to have people come in. We don't want to immediately have to close the doors after we reopen.
Jason Huddle 19:47
Right. So real quick, let's talk about Davis theater. Obviously, with the restrictions still in place. It's it's difficult, right now. I don't think you're able to have Are you able to help have performances or I'm not sure exactly how that works with the with the theater.
Noel Rhodes Scott 20:05
Theaters will be one of the last things to reopen on. And you know, we could have 25 people up in the theater. However, we can't break even if we only have rarely people up so that's everybody facing right now. And on top of that, performers aren't aren't wanting to travel anymore than anyone elses is. And we usually bring in people across the country.
Jason Huddle 20:29
Noel Rhodes Scott 20:30
What we aren't going to do though it's not really it's not really a performance per se but we are going to have a dinner for the arts dinner with the arts at Cabarrus Brewing Company on October 25. And our feature, a really wonderful catered dinner and we'll have items from the gift shop out there for people to look at and if they want to buy and then we'll have lovely musician there as background music for people to enjoy to To bring people together very safely, the brewery has really got this down, you know, working with Cabarrus Health Alliance great out there. Yeah, to do it in a safe way. And I think that my hope is that people are going to be really excited to be able to be kind of surrounded by the arts for an evening and eating great food.
Jason Huddle 21:18
Yeah, there's arts and food. That's the way to my heart and beer.
Noel Rhodes Scott 21:23
Jason Huddle 21:23
I mean what else is there in life arts, food and beer.
Noel Rhodes Scott 21:27
Jason Huddle 21:28
You don't need anything else, right. So besides the fact that you guys have the galleries and hopefully soon the Davis theater will be able to reopen at a decent capacity where you can have some acts back in the Arts Council also helps support other arts organizations all over the county. So what have you been hearing from them and how are they coping through this time?
Noel Rhodes Scott 21:51
It's tough. It's tough. I'm really proud of them. I'm going to highlight a couple of them North Carolina, that call of Spain is also reopening. Thanks to the governor's announcement and they will be doing it a little bit differently than we are there. They will be by appointment only. But again, it'll be you know, another wonderful opportunity for people to go into that great museum. And Old Courthouse Theater has been doing some virtual performances.
Jason Huddle 22:22
Yeah, the 10 minutes. It's been great.
Noel Rhodes Scott 22:24
Is it hasn't it been? We're proud of them. And Cabarrus, Cabarrus Art Guild has continued to be active over at Clearwater artists, studios and center. So every everybody's continuing to work. And in fact, it's it's actually great time for you to be asking about that because in another week, we've received applications for our grassroots grants for support. And, you know, we've received it we've received applications from all of those arts groups as well as projects for public Art, we've got some great things we're looking at. And, you know, we never have enough to, as we would like to give, but it's wonderful, especially in this environment to be able to support the arts because there's just not much available to support the arts right now.
Jason Huddle 23:16
Right and that's the tough thing is, you know, the arts are completely dependent on people actually coming out and supporting them. And like Old Courthouse Theater, you mentioned, it's really hard to have support when you can't sell tickets.
Noel Rhodes Scott 23:29
Jason Huddle 23:29
Yeah, so I'm thrilled that at least the ball has started rolling on some things being reopened and hopefully 2021 will we'll be back up to full steam ahead. And I know you guys will bring in some great acts once you as soon as you can.
Noel Rhodes Scott 23:44
Yes and one other thing, just to mention, you know, we have a huge program in the schools where we bring performance live performances and for every single student in Cabarrus County at 39000 every year. Obviously, that's not happening this year, but we've collected a been working with artists and performers. And many of them have come up with some really good online performances. And so we're working with the school systems to see if that might be a viable option for them.
Jason Huddle 24:20
Okay, very cool. Keep us updated on that one. Real quick before I let you go, just tell everybody where they can get more information about Cabarrus Arts Council.
Noel Rhodes Scott 24:29
Thank you. You can go to our website Cabarrus Arts Council dot org. We also have a Facebook page and Instagram.
Jason Huddle 24:38
Wonderful. Well Rhodes Scott with Cabarrus Arts Council. Thanks for being on the program today. And we're thrilled you guys are opening back up. Hope to see you at the galleries very soon.
Noel Rhodes Scott 24:48
Come to see us thanks.
Jason Huddle 24:50
Are you guys stay tuned we are going to close out the show by talking about some other things that are opening in the area. In the next few days and weeks, stay tuned.
Jason Huddle 26:13
Larry Neil and Noel Rhodes Scott once again for being on the program today, I am thrilled that we are finally talking about reopening some entertainment venues. It is long past time, in my opinion. I get the safety protocols I really do. I get the worry about safety. But here's the thing, if you don't want to go if you feel like you are unsafe going, then do not go. It's that simple, at some point we're going to have to allow people to make judgments for themselves and not count on local, state or even federal government to tell us what to do. I think at some point, we have to be able to make a call for ourselves and we have to start living our lives. We cannot wait for the last case of COVID to go away before we can come out from our holes. That's not the way life works. And we've got to do this and so I am celebrating the fact that these places are reopening. Speaking of reopening, there are some other places around the area that are reopening as well. And I want to thank the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau the CVB, Visit Cabarrus for their help in providing this info. First of all, Great Wolf Lodge which has been closed since the onset of the shutdown back in March is finally reopened as of today. Congratulations to them, I know Angie Brown, the general manager out there is thrilled to start welcoming guests once again. So we are thrilled for them. Also speaking of the CVB their Visitor Center is once again open. If you've never gone out there, it's really cool. They have not only great information about the area, but they also have things that you can buy that celebrate our county, our cities. It's really great. Please go out there and check them out say hello to them for me. But their Visitor Center is now open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to five. As we mentioned today, The Galleries opened their hours are Thursday and Friday from 12 to six, and they're going to do gift show on the lawn on Saturdays from 11 to four, so make sure that you check that out. Noel mentioned also earlier that the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame is open by appointment only, so you need to check them out. Last week we had Steve Hall from the Mustang Owners Museum out here and they are open Monday through Saturday from 10 to five and also Sundays from 12 to five, Reed Goldmine, as we mentioned is now open Tuesday through Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. They are closed Sunday and Mondays and most major holidays. Dave and Busters up at Concord Mills is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but is open for various hours Wednesday through Sunday for restaurant and bowling and also J R Motor Sports. If you are into NASCAR and want to go take a tour, they are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30. And Saturdays ten to three, they are closed Sundays. Richard Childress Racing museum is also open Tuesday through Friday from nine to five and Saturdays nine to three. And then coming up live music is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway, Friday, September 25. With pop artists Quinn 92 I guess that's how you pronounce it. It's QuinnXCII, which in Roman numerals is 92. So I'm going to go with that. I'm sorry, kids. I'm, I'm old, I don't I don't know these people. But apparently, he was rolling stones breakthrough artist of 2020. And he's going to be performing alongside rising pop sensation and Republic Records artist, Chelsea Cutler. That's going to be on Friday, September 25. And then the following night, Chris Jansen, who many of you know as singer songwriter and Academy of Country Music Awards Winner, he will be taking the The stage on September 26. So back to back nights of live music at Charlotte Motor Speedway you can check out Charlotte Motor Speedway calm for more information on that, by the way, Charlotte Motor Speedway also planning on more live music Saturday, October 24, Aaron Lewis and Sully Erna will be in concert there as well. So those are some things that are happening Finally, around this area some events that we finally have to talk about. And I just encourage you guys if you feel safe, or if you don't feel like you're endangering anybody in your family, please go out and get some fresh air and enjoy some live entertainment. There is no substitute, enjoy the arts, enjoy the music, whatever you need to do go out to regal mind, check out the galleries. Guys, it's worth it. It's worth it to try to get back to normal life. But that is all my time for today. So I do bid you farewell You have been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. A presentation of CabCo Media Group produced and hosted by myself Jason Huddle and we are sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center, and Walk Cabarrus we will be off next week as we have a five week month. So I will see you guys in two weeks. Until then, start filling up that calendar.