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ART / CULTURE / STYLE / UPCOUNTRY SOUTH CAROLINA

Queen City Riches

Charlotte’s distinctive neighborhoods are a web of treasure


It may surprise you that America’s first gold rush started not in California, but in North Carolina. In 1799, a 12-year-old boy found a 17-pound gold nugget just outside of Charlotte in Cabarrus County. Riding on his find, the U.S. Mint established a branch in Charlotte in 1837. Until gold was discovered in California in 1848, the city ranked as the country’s largest producer of that precious metal. These days, residents and visitors in the Queen City—named for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of England—still strike gold in the glittering necklace of neighborhoods that encircles the city center.  

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