Hoover Mine

Do you ever search newspapers to see what was published about a surname in their state of residence? I know I wouldn’t try this broad of a search with many of my surnames, but some surnames, like Briles, are more unique. Wondering what I would find in North Carolina papers, I recently did such a search for my BRILES surname.

This search uncovered several articles of interest. For most of these finds, the multiple uses of a given name will make it difficult to determine who an article references. One article was about the leases for the Hoover Mine which listed a Noah Briles. I have no idea whether the Noah Briles in the article is the brother of my ancestor, Alexander Briles or not.

Gold Mines — The Randolph Herald give the following account of the

Hoover Mine

This mine is situa’ed about 12 miles west of this place, near the Uwharrie, and about two miles from the road leading to Salisbury. It was discovered in February, 1847, and operations were commenced in March following. Prior to this time, Mr. Hoover’s land, being considered of an ordinary quality, had been valued at $800. Cabins have been erected for the accommodation of the laborers. store-houses have been built and filled with goods, large quantities of ore have been taken out, and on every hand there are strong indications of enterprize. Numbers prompted by curiosity now visit the place; a considerable number make it their home, and at all hours of the day the sound of the hammer and pick is to be heard. Mr. Hoover, after having received about $1,200 in toll. (one seventh part of the gold realized.) has sold his entire interest to Messrs. Patten and Woodfin of Buncombe county for the sum of $18,000! Before the transfer, however the following leases have been granted for term of 20 years.

Briles’s Lease, in which Noah Briles, G. W. Floyd, A. M. Pugh, Nixon Henly, George Kinley and J. M. A. Drake, are now interested. — This lot was first worked by Mr. Briles, and has yielded large profits in proportions to the amount of labor bestowed. From 18 bushels of his best ore, he informs us, he realized 956 pennyweights in the amalgram state. The ore, he thinks on an average, will yield about 10 pennyweights per bushel.

A lease has also been taken by Messrs John Thomas, G. H. Lee and _____ Loften; one by Messrs. Ward, Pugh, Henly, B. F. Hoover, and J. T Boyd; one by Messrs Joseph Hoover, Sr., Wm. A. Prevo J. Pool, and William Rush; one by Messrs Allen Keerans, Alison Keerans, Penner Kesraus, Pennel Wood; another by Messrs. Noah Rush, Christopher Hill, and W. Hill; and tow others; one by Avery, Smith & Co., the other by Hawkins Carson & Co.

These leases, judging from the large sums that have been paid for many of them, are all yielding handsome profits, at least exhibiting the most flattering prospects. Which is most productive, is not for us to say, even if we knew. The fact, that about $60,000 have been invested here since the discovery of the mine, will give the reader a more correct idea of the estimation in which it is held, than any account that we could give.

There are fifteen cabins on the hill, two stores and two smith-[?]. Messers. Briles & Co. have two mills on Uwharrie, about two miles form the hill, constructed for the purpose of griding the ore, each of which grinds about 100 bushels per day. The ore is conveyed to these mills on wagons, at an expense of three cents per bushel. — Four good horses can draw 25 bushels, and four trips can be made during the day. Messrs. Avery & Co. are also making preparations for the construction of five mills, at a distance of 1/4 of a mile from the hill. Some of these are to be in operation in a short time. The several companies have large quantities of ore now ready for the mills.

The cost of grinding depends on teh quality of the ore; the ordinary ore costs from 10 to 12 1/2 cts per bushel, while very hard ore costs much more. It must all be completely pulberized, otherwise much gold will be lost.

Leases and interests have been selling here at high rates, and he who gets a place whereon to set his foot, must have the dollars.

Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 23 May 1848 on Newspapers.com

For more information about the Hoover Mine, see

  • “Randolph County Gold,” The Greensboro Record (Greensboro, North Carolina). 4 Jan 1946 on Newspapers.com
  • “Mr. Lee Briles and His Mining Property,” The High Point Enterprise (High Point, North Carolina). 28 Mar 1914 on Newspapers.com
  • “Once-Famed Hoover Hill Gold Mine to Be Tapped,” Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, North Carolina). 17 Dec 1945 on Newspapers.com
  • “Sale of Valuable Real Estate,” Semi-Weekly Standard (Raleigh, North Carolina) 9 Dec 1862 on Newspapers.com
  • “Rich Pay Dirt at the Old Hoover Hill Mine,” The Randolph Bulletin (Asheboro, North Carolina) 14 April 1915.
  • Hoover Hill Mine on thediggings.com
  • Gold (commodity) from Hoover Hill Mine, Asheboro, Randolph Co., North Carolina on minedat.org
  • Developers sitting on a gold mine on Go Upstate
  • The Workings of a Gold Mine
  • Hoover’s Mill on Notes on the History of Randolph County, NC
  • Gold Resources of North Carolina

One thought on “Hoover Mine

  1. Very interesting indeed. Another possible lead for general family research you wouldn’t have known about had you not done that search! And yes, I do search my ancestors less common surnames in areas where they lived and have had similar success 🙂

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