Posted By:Sheila Collins
Subject:John Gray, J.W. Gray and the Gray Mining and Land Development Co.
Post Date:December 06, 2002 at 17:27:23
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Forum:Davie County, NC Genealogy Forum
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I have been researching gold mining operations in the Calahan community of Davie Co. This past week, I found info published in an Iredell Co. history book, which reported the existence of a Butler mine in Davie Co. that was operated by L.Q.C. Butler. His son James A. Butler, according to the Iredell Co. history, became an influential leader in Iredell Co. The Gray Mining and Land Development Co. operated a mining operation(s) on Davie Co. land in Calahan that is currently owned by the Walker, Smoot, Richardson, Griffith, and Stroud families. I learned this past week that the Gray Mining Co. still owned the mineral rights to Mr. Stroudís land (he probably purchased this land in the 1960ís). I have no knowledge of the mineral rights status of the other tracts. John Gray was President of the Gray Mining Co. and I have a deed that shows his purchase of 337 acres in the Calahan community in 1859. The last transaction that I have seen for this company was a land sale to my grandfather, dated 1916. I have another deed that states that a land tract adjoined the tracts of Gray, Butler, and Whitley. This leads me to believe that these mining operations may be connected. A neighbor also reported two mine tunnels on Calahan Mountain. The NC department that oversees mining operations has no record of gold mining in Davie Co. The Gray Mining Co.ís seal reads Statesville, NC. The location of these mining tunnels and foundations for the processing equipment is well known in the community with several gentlemen now in their 50ís reporting that they played on the abandoned mining carts in the shafts in their youth.

I thought this might be an interesting tidbit for someone since there does not seem to be any record of the extent of the mining operation. I havenít established the location of the Butler mine, but suspect that since he married a Prather that it might be on the Prather land grant noted on the Lagle map of 1790 land grants. I havenít been able to pin down the exact location of the entire tract, but the Gray operation appears to possibly butt up to the Prather land based on my grandfatherís land purchases.. A J.W. Gray (also a trustee for John Gray) signed the guardianship papers for the youngest sister(s) of my gggrandfather. I had not noticed the connection between the gold mining on my fatherís land and the guardianship papers until I reviewed my files recently.