The Gold Mining Camp Museum at Monroe Park is the only museum in Virginia solely dedicated to the history of gold and gold mining. Monroe Park and the Museum opened in October 1998. Located in Goldvein, Virginia, it is a recreational place to relax and learn about local history and gold. Although not the site of an actual mine, nineteen mine sites existed within five miles of the park. Explore the Mess Hall, Assay Office and Bunk House, outfitted as they would have been in the 1930’s. Learn about the different mining techniques and try your hand at panning.
Location: 14421 Gold Dust Parkway (off Route 17), Goldvein, VA 22720 (~15 miles from Fredericksburg)
Hours: Wed.-Sat., 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, noon-4 pm
Cost: Free to tour the buildings. There is a cost if you want to purchase a bag of gems/minerals for the gold panning/gem mining sluice. The prices are listed HERE.
Webpage: Gold Mining Camp Museum
Credit card payments are not accepted. Cash & checks only.
This park hosts a self-guided history with several outbuildings depicting the life and processes of the gold mining days in Virginia. For a fun printable scavenger hunt for the Gold Mining Camp Museum, click HERE. Instead of printing it, we just looked at the images from my phone. My kids really enjoyed the scavenger hunt.
Gold panning demonstrations are held Wed-Sun at 2 pm, with a limit of 8 people at the sluice at a time.
We had the museum to ourselves. The museum staff member was available for any questions. He left us on our own as we toured the buildings but helped us get situated at the sluice.
The kids had so much fun trying their hand at panning. They shared a large bag of gems/minerals ($8) and got so excited over the gems they found. The staff member gave each of them a gemstone and fossil guide. The kids could not wait to go home and identify the gemstones they found in their bag. Panning was such a fun activity.
Right next to the museum is a beautiful park with a fun playground, sports fields, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, and a 1/4 mile trail. There’s also a covered pavilion. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
If you still have time and energy after your visit, head to Lake Mooney. It’s just under 13 miles from the mining museum. You can relax by the lake or take a hike on the trail across the street. Click HERE for more information about Lake Mooney.