The first gold discovered in the United States was not in California, but North Carolina. Samuel Martin, who was born in Connecticut, was returning from South America where he had worked in the mining industry. Stopping to get a shoe repaired in Burke County, he noticed that the mud chinking of his host's cabin was very much like the best gold-bearing gravel of South America. Word soon leaked that gold had been discovered on the banks of Brindle Creek, and for the next year, Burke County was the site of our country's first gold boom. It is estimated that $60,000,000 worth of gold at current values was mined in the Appalachian area between 1828 and 1848, much of it minted by Christian Bechtler in Rutherford County.