Rutherfordton, NC – Where the First One-Dollar Gold Coin Was Minted

Rutherfordton is a town in Rutherford County.  The town was formed in 1787 to serve as the county seat.  The County and Town was named to honor General Griffith Rutherford, a North Carolina politician and general during the Revolutionary War period.

The small town of Rutherfordton is 3 blocks with several vacant buildings.  It’s a nice town and the people are friendly.

KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum – The museum features over 40 interactive exhibits in a 10,000 square-foot space. The museum occupies a building that was previously a “Five and Dime” store in the late 1920s and a car dealership in the 1960s.

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Rutherford County Visual Arts Center – Gallery artists work in a variety of art forms and fine crafts. There are paintings, drawings, prints and photographs and works in clay, glass, fiber, wood, and metal. 160 N. Main St.

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The Gallery – custom framing, fine arts and crafts. 181 N. Main St.

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Main Street Coffee and Ice cream – they also have baked goods. 185 N. Main St.

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MAIN STREET COFFEE

Tanners – Since 1931 the Tanner name has been synonymous with lady’s fine apparel & accessories. Main Street

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TANNERS

Victorian Lace – antique mall – 196 N. Main St.

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BUILDINGS IN FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSE
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Carrier House circa 1835 – on National Register of Historical Places

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Bechtler Mint Site Historical Park:  342 Gilboa Church Rd.

Christopher Bechtler, his son Augustus, moved to Rutherford County in 1830.  Bechtler first opened a jewelry shop in Rutherfordton but soon saw that the lack of currency in western North Carolina was stifling the regional economy.  Experienced metalworkers, they developed dies, built a press, and by July 1831 were striking $2.50 (quarter-eagle) and $5.00 (half-eagle) coins in a shop on Hollands Creek 3 1/2 miles north of Rutherfordton. The following year the Bechtler mint began to strike the first gold $1.00 United States coins.

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 Bechtler’s Mint – Established 1831, four miles N., by Christopher Bechtler. Later stood at this point. Minted more than $2 1/4 million in gold. Closed about 1849.

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Christopher Bechtlers House circa 1837  – 130 W. 6t.h St

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BECHTLERS HOUSE – CIRCA 1837

St. John’s Episcopal Church – Completed in 1847.  The oldest original church building standing in Rutherford County.  Listed on the National Register of Historical Places.  Today, it is the home of Rutherford County Historical Society.

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HISTORICAL MARKER IN FRONT OF THE CEMETERY