There are all sorts of fevers, Dance Fever, Beiber Fever, and so on. But perhaps the best fever to have these days is Gold Fever! As part of Rutherfordton’s 225th celebration this year, they have been working to showcase one of their more famous citizens and richest part of their history- Christopher Bechtler. This effort includes working with archives staff and records to create some great scholarship on Bechtler, his mine, and his mint in the form of a book, exhibit, and documentary. WRA archivist Heather South has been working with the town, along with other DCR employees, helping secure loans and documentation for the launch of the historic house museum and UNC-TV documentary Gold Fever & The Bechtler Mint. ” While we only played a small role, it was great fun being part of something so different” South said. Bechtler immigrated to the United States in 1829 and after moving to Western North Carolina, quickly established himself as a reputable jeweler and watch maker, and in 1832 began issuing the country’s first gold $1 coin. UNC-TV held a world premier of the documentary on Saturday evening in Rutherfordton and as South puts it “There were more than 700 people here, that says something about the power of history and the unique story of Bechtler’s Gold, I think we all have the fever now.”
Be sure to check out the documentary this week as it airs on UNC-TV October 4th at 9pm.