2017 Halifax County Heritage & Antique Machinery Festival


Gold Mining Exhibit to be at Heritage Festival

Gold Mining, an exciting new attraction to the 14th Annual Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival is sure to be a big hit for the young and young-at-heart.

Prospectors, Ben Vaughan and Kathy Lovin of Arvonia, VA will demonstrate a hands-on gold panning display and talk about their experiences as Virginia gold miners. 

For the past 20 years Vaughan and Lovin have been panning local creeks in Virginia for gold nuggets and report that there is gold in Virginia. 

According to Vaughan, gold was first discovered in Central Virginia in 1782 by Thomas Jefferson along the banks of the Riviana River.  “Virginia is in the pyrite gold belt which runs from Washington, DC to Alabama.  The gold is usually just below the surface so we pan for it working the creek beds where Mother Nature has washed the gold out of the hard ground into the creeks.”

Vaughan points out that most people do not realize that the California Gold Rush of 1849 actually started in Virginia and North Carolina.  “There were so many prospectors in this area and there was no where to go next.  So, when gold was discovered in California, everyone took off West to stake their claim.” 

Visitors to the Heritage Festival will have an opportunity to pan for gold and also learn where and how to look for gold. 

The 14th Annual Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival begins Friday, May 5 at the Halifax County Fairgrounds and runs through Sunday, May 7.

Festival times are Friday, May 5 from 12 noon until 9 pm.  Saturday, May 6 from 9 am to 9 pm.  Show time Sunday, May 7 is 1 pm to 5 pm.  For more information, visit www.halifaxcountyheritagefestival.org. 


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