Friday, September 25, 2009

Two Maps to Panthertown

Two maps of Panthertown Valley, 2009 and 1845

I’ve been perusing two very different maps of Panthertown Valley.

One is Burt Kornegay’s new, expanded, waterproof edition of A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown. For anyone who has the first edition, this is a complete revision of the old map. Burt really did a superb job with this guide. I look forward to putting it to the test on a hike soon, but as a map lover, I’m already enjoying the vicarious travel it affords. The map is available at City Lights in Sylva, or you can order it from

The other Panthertown map is much older and I almost missed it because it was listed under historic maps of Haywood County in the online collection, North Carolina Maps.

Until Jackson County was created in 1851, Panthertown Valley was part of Haywood County, and the 1845 map is especially interesting:

This map is a fair representation of that part of the gold region which has been surveyed in the county of Haywood and made by order of court this the 17th day of March 1845.

The map identifies landowners with acreage and the location of gold mines. Some of the family names on the map include Reeves, Francis, Hooper, Bumgarner, Bryson, Vickers and Shelton.

Western North Carolina was never much of a gold-producing region in this state. During the 1840s, the Southern Piedmont was gold country in a big way. Panthertown happened to be one of the few locations in the mountains that showed some promise for the precious metal, but it never panned out.

In a previous story, I shared an account of my search for the legendary Gold Spring of the Tuckasegee:

I haven’t found that gold spring yet, but I'm still looking.


Anonymous said...

Yum, maps AND gold...

Reminds me of nearly falling in some of the old collapsed shafts at Gold Hill ( which was good for a Legasus-type swindle at the end of its days).

I also remember trips up to the Coggin mine around Eldorado back when the separation buliding was still intact. The building was wrecked to get the giant ore crusher out; the German-made crusher is now in the Reed Gold Mine museum off 24-27. I remember somewhere seeing a photo of that crusher being hauled along a road by what must have been two dozen mule teams.


Anonymous said...

BTW, I occasionally think about poking around your neck of the woods, but those contour lines look a mite steep for a fat boy.


GULAHIYI said...

Those contour lines are a mite steep for any ol' boy.

Did you ever go panning at Cotton Patch? Seems like it was still operating not that long ago, but my Stanly County memories get convoluted sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Not operating in an organized way, but folks still pan there. I've panned in a few places around Ophir/Eldorado. Usually I just took note of a washout or steep feeder area and panned downstream after a good rain. Creeks running into the Uwharrie River, also. You still find a little gold there.