Gold Hill: E.H. Montgomery General Store, Bluegrass Jam, & More!
Gold First Discovered
Appropriately named after its first discovery of gold in 1824, the town later became incorporated in 1843. At the first discovery of gold, mining began in the Barnhart Mine at 435ft and Randolph Mine at 850ft. Over time, the main street of the town grew and developed to span over a mile long. This street included at least twenty-six merchant shops, three saloons, a thirty-room hotel, and a two-story mining office. Gold Hill grew to such a success that the Mayor of Charlotte was quoted at the time as saying that “Charlotte will one day be as big and prosperous as Gold Hill”. History reports that this prosperity occurred a decade before the gold strike that is famously known to have occurred in Sutter’s Mill California, which is more commonly associated with gold mining. Gold Hill continued to see success into the start of the Civil War when the mines ceased production by the year 1915.
E.H Montgomery General Store
One of the local attractions that offers visitors the opportunity to pull up a chair, grab a treat, and enjoy a nice conversation is the E.H Montgomery General Store. The general store is located at 770 St Stephens Church Rd, Gold Hill, NC 28071. When you step inside the door, you are immediately greeted with warmth from the pot-bellied wood burning stove, smiling hellos from the people in attendance, and nostalgia from southern days passed. Immediately to the left of the door there sits an old-fashioned gold-colored working cash register. Not only is beautiful in color, but it also functions to sell the southern themed treats that that is offered as merchandise in the general store.
Blue Grass Music Jam
For the past two decades, part of local tradition is that people gather on Friday nights at The E.H. Montgomery Store to join in both playing and listing to the Bluegrass Music Jam. All year long, musicians from all over the region come together from 7pm-9pm to listen to traditional Bluegrass and Old-Time music. The musicians gather in the middle of the room, people positions chairs in any vacant space available, and others stand on the outskirts of the room dancing and joining in with contagious vibrations that the Blue Grass Music emits throughout the space. Vivian reports that all are welcome to attend in person or join in by viewing the live stream from Facebook.
E.H. Montgomery Store also offers educational/history tours for all ages, schools, colleges, universities, church groups or civic organizations and clubs. If someone is interested in learning more about the local history of Gold Hill or seeing the local sites, there are booklets for a self-guided tour that is available for purchase. The self-guided tour will lead you pass many places such as the Barnhardt Shaft, Gold Hill Jail/Rock Wall, Chilean Ore Mill, the Site of the Eames-Newman Mansion, Stationary Steam Engine and Boiler, Powder House, and Gold Hill Rail Trail, which will loop you back to where you started at the general store. Following this path will lead you through historical Gold Hill allowing you to experience it first-hand.