In 1799, a boy named Conrad Reed found a 17-pound rock in a creek bed in nearby Cabarrus County. His family used it as a doorstop for three years until a jeweler discovered that the rock was actually a gold nugget.
Quartz veins containing yet more gold were soon found beneath the Reed farm, and the first gold rush in U.S. history began. Charlotte was soon transformed from a small village into a regional financial center.
While the gold mining in Charlotte eventually slowed, the city remains a financial center to this day.