The Haile Gold Mine was at one time the largest producer of gold east of the Appalachians. Mrs. Viola Floyd wrote a good account about it in her book "Lancaster County Tours" some years ago. Colonel Benjamin Haile was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather; he came from Virginia to S. C. Mrs. Viola Floyd had an account of the mine in her book "Lancaster County South Carolina Tours" which came out a number of years ago. Colonel Haile discovered gold on his plantation in 1827 on a branch of Little Lynches Creek. For a while leased out small squares land for people to mine, but shortly began mining on a large scale. A 5-stamp mill was built in 1837, said to have been the second stamp mill operated in the U. S. During the War Between the States the Confederates obtained considerable quantities of copper and other chemicals from the pyrite ore deposits. The buildings and equipment were destroyed when Sherman's army came through.
The Haile's sold the property in 1866 and the mine was operated again; a 20-stamp mill was installed in the 1880's.
The mine isn't in operation right now, but a few years ago it was in full operation and a cousin and I were taken on a tour, given pictures, watched blasting, and were allowed to each take a couple of rocks from "the richest section". I have a copy of Benjamin Haile ll"s will, made in the 1840's, and he was certainly a wealthy man, but I don't know how much of it was from the mine; he had numerous plantations and other enterprises. I have lots of information on the mine; it's an interesting part of Lancaster history. Alice Baker