Imagine Rutherford County in the 1830s - dirt roads, horse-drawn carriages, a community on the brink of an economic boom. The Bechtler Family moved to North Carolina right when gold fever was hitting the state. Local miners and businessmen appealed to the U.S. government to establish a mint to meet the needs of the burgeoning gold industry. Congress ignored the request. Christopher Bechtler did not. During the 1830s Bechtler minted more than $2.24 million dollars in gold coins, stimulating commerce in the Southeast and leaving a permanent legacy to both Rutherford County and American history.
A plan to preserve and promote the Bechtler Heritage began over two years ago and reached a significant milestone in 2015 with the purchase of the original 1837 Bechtler House as a heritage center. Today, the Bechtler House is open to the public and showcases period artifacts and exhibits that transport visitors back to the 1830s and tell the Bechtler Story. The house also serves as the headquarters of the NC Gold Trail, which connects over 27 counties with historical significance from the NC gold rush.