The Gold Mining Museum at Monroe Park
Village of Goldvein
Goldvein’s history as a gold mining town is celebrated and shared with the public through the Goldvein Gold Mining Museumat Monroe Park just off Route 17.
There is a gold belt that encompasses an area of some 4,000 square miles, starting from Maryland and running Southwest through Virginia to the North Carolina state line. The Virginia gold belt varies in width from 15 to 25 miles and measures 200 miles in length, and it passes through southeastern Fauquier County in the Morrisville and Goldvein area. At least 18 mines are known to have been in operation.
In the 1830s, prospectors panned for gold in the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers, and eventually progressed to the digging of trenches (placer pits). In the early 1900s mining companies began to excavate deep shafts in the earth in search of veins of gold. At this time, Virginia and her sister states of the South became the major gold producing region in the nation. By the 1830s, gold produced in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia amounted to $1 million per year.
The Franklin Gold Mine was one of the most famous mines in this county. From 1825 to the Civil War, this mine produced $1.2 million worth of gold.
Goldvein also showcases an impressive stone church built by slaves in 1833 called the Grove Baptist Curch. The Goldvein store was originally constructed as Goldvein School in 1921. It closed and was converted to a store in 1945. This store and the old store behind it were moved to their current location from Rt. 813 (the old road) near Grove Church in 1953. The old store was constructed ca. 1905 and is now used for storage.
The community was originally known as Grove Church, for the churches in the community. Citizens and visitors may learn more about the gold mining in Fauquier County by visiting the Monroe Park Gold Mining Museum, located in Goldvein, just off of Route 17. This museum is the Official Gold Mining Interpretive Center for the Commonwealth of Virginia.