Gold Hill’s Vivian Hopkins to present program on the history of gold mining in NC

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 22, 2017


ALBEMARLE — Did you know that Stanly County is near the center of what was considered the Gold Region of North Carolina?  Did you know that prior to the California “gold rush” a 17-pound gold rock was discovered by a 12-year old boy, Conrad Reed, on his family’s farm in Cabarrus County?  This accidental discovery was the beginning of a century of wealth, prosperity, heartbreak and deceit for many people in this part of North Carolina.

The program “If Picks and Shovels Could Talk”  will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Uwharrie Conference Center, 152 West Main St. in downtown Albemarle. 

This program, sponsored by The Stanly County Historical Society and the Stanly County Museum, will offer a look into the past and the role gold played in the history of our region.  Attendees will hear about the fame and fortunes of the most prominent North Carolina gold mines, their owners, investors and the people who worked in the mines.

Our speaker, Vivian Pennington Hopkins — author, historian, and bluegrass musician — is vice president of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation Inc. at Gold Hill.  She is the chairman of the Foundation’s education and public relations department.  She is the author of “Gold Hill Ghosts and Other Legends,” “Your Guide to Gold Hill Mines Historic Park and the Gold Hill Rail Trail,” and is co-author of “Kimball’s Field Guide to Gold Hill: A Layman’s Tour Through Time.”

Hopkins is also editor of “The Gold Hill Miner,” a newsletter publication of the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation Inc. and is currently writing “Gold Hill, NC – A pictorial History of the Gold Hill Mining District.”

Hopkins is a member of the NC Literary and Historical Association and is also a speaker with the NC Humanities Council’s Road Scholars program.

Road Scholar speakers provide programs on a wide variety of topics throughout North Carolina.

Hopkin’s research on the history of gold focuses on, and continues the work of, Dr. Brent Glass’s doctoral research. Dr. Glass earned his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1980.  Dr. Glass, director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, has endorsed Hopkin’s work and the gold history program.

Vivian Pennington Hopkins is a native of Wilkes County.  In addition to historical research and writing, she is an accomplished visual artist and plays upright bass, fulfilling her love of bluegrass and the old-time music culture of the Southern Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains.

On Friday evenings from 7-9 p.m. you will find Hopkins at the E.H. Montgomery General Store in Gold Hill, ready for Friday Night Bluegrass & Old Time Music.

To register for this program, call the Stanly County Public Library 704-986-3755, or go online to and select the Event Registration tab.  Be sure to click Submit to complete the online registration.

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