It’s well known that the Charlotte area was home to a gold rush in the early 1800s. It’s why we have things like the Gold Rush Trolley system. But most of the mines are  located outside of the city’s center.

As it turns out, two of the largest mines, St. Catherine and Rudisill, actually had tunnels that ran beneath parts of Uptown—sometimes as far as 400 feet down. Several shafts  run parallel to South Mint St. and others are thought to run beneath Bank of America Stadium.

No one is certain of the locations of many of the tunnels, but when construction began on what is now Bank of America Corporate Center (it was then North Carolina National Bank) in the 1980s workers discovered wooden frames of a mine still intact along with an even more exciting discovery: flecks of gold in the rocks.

Visit the Bank of America Heritage Center

WHAT: A museum where you can learn more about the city’s long history in currency—in a location above former gold mines

WHERE: In Founders Hall at the Bank of America Corporate Center, 100 North Tryon St.

COST: Free

PRO TIP: The Heritage Center is owned by Bank of America and  functions as a promotional component of the bank—it’s attached to a store selling bank paraphernalia. However, Charlotte’s banking industry has long been a large part of its history and the center offers valuable insight into this legacy.

This story comes from Sarah Crosland’s book “Secret Charlotte: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,” which you can buy on Amazon here or at local shops like Park Road Books and Paper Skyscraper. It’s a great read for anyone who loves Charlotte — and we’re not just saying that because she’s our former boss.

Photo: Colby Alvino

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  1. Love the article! Another local urban legend has it that in the sub-basement of the old Barringer Hotel (now known as the Hall House) on North Tryon Street is an entrance to another gold mine which was sealed up a LONG time ago.