Monday, August 27, 2012

Gold Hill. {365 - Day 239}

After a lazy morning of French toast and The Lorax on DVD, we decided we should actually get off the couch and do something.  Historic Gold Hill has been on Kurt's to-do list for a while, so off we went.  It's about an hour's drive from Charlotte.  We weren't sure what to expect.  The website said it was an old Gold Mining town, with shops and a restaurant and a park.  We were pleasantly surprised when we got there to find several quaint shops to browse in along the wooden sidewalks and fields dotted with old barns.

 Day 239 {Canon 5D Mark III + Photoshop}

Our first stop was The Stamp Mill Cafe for lunch.  
Very cute spot with nice people and a great menu.

After stuffing ourselves, we wandered through the old buildings 
and found the metalworker's shop.  
The coolest thing about this shop, other than the metal sculptures, was that it was on the honor system.  There was no shopkeeper.  Take what you want and just drop a check or cash in the box.  And if you don't have either, take a self-addressed envelope and mail it later.  Hello, have we traveled through some time vortex back to when people trusted one another?  We had to buy something just to show our appreciation for the owner's faith in humanity, so we purchased a metal quail to add to our yard art collection. 

 The roof of the metalworker's workshop had a flock of metal birds gathered on the roof.  I can't tell you how much I loved this.

After that, we stopped at the general store for ice cream.  Chocolate, of course. 

The old general store.

Did a little browsing, then walked over to the park.  There was a playground there for Sarah Beth to try out.  She approved.

Also at the park were some of the old mine shafts.  Not your usual park attraction.  There were several fenced off areas that I imagine are very dangerous and very scary.  There was one shaft you could look down into, and there were even stairs so you could see if from underground.  I chose to stay in the daylight, but Kurt peeked down there and said it was very cool.

An ore mill.  I've seen old millstones like these all over but have never seen one mounted.

The jail.  Guess back in prospectin' days, theft was a real  problem.
Before we left, we stopped at the Indigo Teahouse, a lovely little shop with a garden outside chock full of butterflies.  Sarah Beth was most impressed with the shop cat, who woke up long enough to say hello and stretch before resuming her nap on the antique sofa in the shop's living room.  We would love to have stayed for a cup of tea and chat with the owners, but we had to get on the road and took our tea to go.  
Indigo Tea Market

Apparently we missed out, because yesterday was a big bluegrass festival.  They have a nice stage in the park, and bluegrass is played every Friday night in the summer.  They also have special events throughout the year, even at Christmas time.  Everyone was so welcoming here.  We will definitely be back.   If you find yourself near China Grove some day, make the trip to Gold Hill.  You'll be happy you did!

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