NASHVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Nash County father and son who uncovered a ship built more than 100 years ago buried on their land have now rebuilt a portion of it for visitors.
Tim and Ross Fisher bought the seventeen acres of swampland outside Nashville almost a decade ago because it was the site of a former gold mine.
ABC11 first visited the Fishers in 2019 after a drought exposed part of the wooden boat buried in the mud. It turns out, it was the 94-foot-long vessel, The Robinson Gold Dredge, which was used in the early 1900s during the gold rush in the eastern part of the state.
Since the discovery, the Fishers and volunteers have spent years meticulously excavating the boat. They've now rebuilt the pilot house.
"We'll clean out 10 feet of the ship, get the pay dirt out, which does have quite a bit of gold in it. It's real fine gold -- a lot of work -- but there's gold there, still in the ship," Tim Fisher explained.
"We find artifacts that are really cool. We're putting it back new from the bottom up right beside the old timber. So, you can still look in and you can see the old timber as it was back in the day.
But, we've got a new timber supporting everything," he added.
The Fishers have also opened N.C. Treasure Hunters Campground on the land for visitors to step onto this rare piece of history. Tim's son, Ross, runs the campsite which also has areas to pan for gold and fossils.
"Me and Dad, we want to bring people in and educate them and teach them," Ross explained. "And while they're here, they can enjoy the outdoors and have fun panning for gold. And they can stay the weekend with us in our cabins or our tent sites and just have a good time. They can come out and I guarantee they'll find gold. I guarantee they'll find treasures. They'll find shark teeth and they can come and enjoy our historical site," he added.
The Fishers plan to continue rebuilding the dredge in 10-foot-wide increments. The historic site is now open on weekends for campers or visitors and by appointment on weekdays.