Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Haile Gold Mine

Marker ID: SCHM 29-27
Location: Haile Gold Mine Rd., Kershaw, SC
County: Lancaster
Coordinates: N 34° 34.51    W 080° 33.309
  34.57516666    -80.55515
Style: Free Standing **


In 1827 Benjamin Haile (1768-1842) found gold here while panning in the streams on his plantation. After he found gold ore as well, Haile set up a mining operation. By 1837 the Haile Gold Mine included a 5-stamp mill, with steel stamps or pestles that crushed ore into dust from which gold was extracted. Haile leased small plots to entrepreneurs who used slave labor to mine gold.

The mine was not successful until the 1880s, when its owners hired Adolf Thies (1832-1917), a German mining engineer who perfected a new extraction process. A 60-stamp mill processed 100 tons a day, producing more gold than any mine east of the Mississippi. After a deadly boiler explosion in 1908, the mine closed in 1912. It operated briefly during World Wars I and II and the 1990s.

Erected by the Lancaster County Historical Commission, 2004