After gold was discovered in Georgia prospectors began working in Alabama and had a "Gold Rush" following the discovery of gold in 1830 in Chilton County along tributaries of Blue and Chestnut Creeks. Around 1830 discoveries were made and for a decade there were thousands of miners working. Then the California gold rush took the miners to the mother lode and the mines were abandoned during the Civil War. After the Civil War, work took place until World War II. In the 1930's, with the rise in the price of gold, there was another boom which lasted until 1942. Since then Alabama's gold fields have been almost completely idle. From 1830 to 1990 Alabama produced nearly 80,000 ounces of gold. The most important deposits were found in Cleburne, Tallapoosa, Clay and Randolph Counties. Only Cleburne and Tallapoosa Counties produced more than 20,000 ounces of gold. Gold found in Alabama comes from lode and placer sources.
Much of Alabama's gold has been produced at Hog Mountain and the Hillabee mine. Both hardrock areas, they are credited with more than 25,000 ounces. Gold is found in lode form and most is recovered by the cyanide heap leaching. The operation of the mines has been sparse and they have been closed since 1950. Active mining in the lode mines continued until the years of World War II, but little has been done since. Large scale dredge mining for placer gold went on almost continuously. Alabama's gold fields occur in a northeast trending belt about 100 miles long and 60 miles wide, in a region known as the Piedmont Uplift. The Piedmont Uplift covers about 3,500 square miles in Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Elmore, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa Counties.
For further information, write: State Geologist, Geological Survey of Alabama, P.O. Drawer O. University, Alabama 35486.
CHILTON COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Chilton County
The Southwestern part of the Alabama belt includes portions of Chilton County. The rock exposures that are limited on the south west by the overlap of the Upper Cretaceous Formation (Tuscaloosa Formation). Nuggets weighing up to 4 ounces have been reported from Blue Creek, a short tributary of the Coosa River in the southeastern part of the county.
West of Clanton 13 miles on the small tributary of Mulberry Creek, The Franklin (Jemison) Mine, small pits in schists and quartz, site of a 10 stamp mill operated until 1923. On the south bank of the creek exposing Hillabee Schist, The B.T. Childers Prospect with pyrite and copper minerals. Also along Mulberry Creek, about 2 miles below Honeycutts Mill for some distance above, the Mulberry Creek Placers, productive in the early days. All the tributaries contain placer gold.
In the Verbena area all the streams and creeks surrounding the corners of Chilton, Coosa and Elmore Counties contain placer gold. On Blue Creek, the Rippatoe placers, discovered in 1835 to become a famous property with mining continuing vigorously until 1855. The gold gravels extend about 1 mile in a valley and not more than 200 yards wide. Fine gold and Nuggets are reported. On Rocky Creek, there are also some rich placer workings, but it has been worked and reworked often. Large nuggets have been recovered from these sites.
CLAY COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Clay County
Cragford district is located along far east side of Clay county and far west side of Randolph county you will find the Grizzle Property, it has veins in quartz to 30 feet deep and you could find rich specimen ore near surface, the mine was famous for free milling gold. The H. S. Bradley land had prospects that contained free milling gold. The Manning Placer, consist of old diggings along tributaries of Crooked creek, which were landmarks of 1830's and 40's. You will find thin quartz veins nearby that produce placer and lode gold. The Farrar Property, had a deep shaft and crosscut tunnel, worked before 1860 for lode gold. The Morris Property contained ore in formation that was traceable 1 mile northeast to the Tallapoosa River. The Tallapoosa River shoal sands show placer gold. At Wildcat Hollow, the Teakle Property consisted of a deep shaft known as the Orum Pit, produced lode gold. Adjacent to Wildcat Hollow, the Bradford Fraction produced lode gold. The Goldberg Mine, was an open cut, inclined pit, with veins 6-15 inches thick that contained gold with antimony, copper, traces of arsenic. The W. D. Mitchell's Pine Hill Prospect was an 80 foot deep inclined shaft and pits along strike in ore body 14 ft. thick. The Bradford Ridge Mine was the most extensively prospected mine in the district and was the site of a 10 stamp mill contained gold, with some arsenopyrite. Between forks of White Oak and Wesobulga creeks you will find the Dawkins Property, which was the site of old 10 stamp mill and produced lode gold saved by amalgamation.
South of Erin in gravel bars of Gold Mines Creek, you will find placer gold, with sillimanite, pyrope garnets and talc.
The Idaho district is located in west part of county. Southwest of Idaho, you will find the pyrite mines and Hillabee Schist which contain gold. The Eley Mine, operated in 1899 contained lode gold. The Chinca Pina Property was an open cut, inclined shaft, with several prospect holes, with best panning in surface gravel contained placer gold. The Haraldson Mine was an old mine. The Alabama Gold and Mica Company Mine contained quartz veins in mica schist's and was the site of 5 stamp mill. The Harall Gold Mine was once rich producer of lode gold. The Shinker Mine was a minor lode gold deposit. There were several area placer deposits, well worked in early days. The Idaho (Franklin) pits was an open cut to 60 ft. deep along hillside exposing graphite and garnet schist's, with quartz stringers and free panning gold and abundant garnets. The Hobbs Pit was a shallow excavation, with excellent panning. The Laurel pits contained gold in decomposed granite and was also easy panning. The Horn's Peak Mine was a well developed mine with an old 5 stamp mill. The California Property was the site of 10 stamp mill and had gold obtainable by crushing and panning. The Prospect Tunnel was opened for nonexistent copper, but 1930 assays said it was rich in lode gold.
South of Lineville in area streams emptying into Crooked Creek, the placers are said to be very rich.
CLEBURNE COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Cleburne County
Fifty years after the discovery of gold, nearly 30,000 ounces were produced in Cleburne county, mostly in the Arbacoochee district in the southern part of the county. Since 1890 Cleburne county has been idle. Most of the gold came from placer deposits near Gold Hill and Clear Creek. In the Hillabee area there are quartz veins containing gold, but they are too low in value to be mined. All area streams and their tributaries in the Arbacoochee Mining District, which includes the northern part of Randolph County, is reportedly the richest placer ground in Alabama. All area streams and tributaries in the Chulafinnee Mining District, west of the Arbacoochee District, had significant early placer mining operations.
In the town of Arbacoochee about 10 mile south of Heflin on route 9 and county road 19 about 9 miles from the Randolph county line, was a major gold district overlapping into Randolph County. The Anna Howe Mines was the first gold bearing quartz discovery in Alabama. The Marion White Property was once a major source of rich specimen ore. The Bennefield Property consisting of open cuts, low grade lode gold. The Sutherland Property was extensively worked and the site of a 10 stamp mill. The Eckles Property consisted of 40 acres with 100 foot shaft in a quartz vein in decomposed schist. The Middlebrook Property is reported to have rich panning.
The Chulafinnee district adjoins the Arbacoochee district on the south by southwest areas. Along Chulafinnee Creek and its tributaries, the Chulafinnee placers, was gold rich gravels under 6 foot of overburden. The King Mine consisted of a pit of 2,500 square foot in schist laced with quartz veins and was the site of old stamp mill. The Stripling Property consist of shallow cuts showing quartz stringers in schist which panned well, and adjoining on the NE, to the Higginbottom Property, similar, with rich panning at surface. 3 miles west of Chulafinnee, Rev. Mr. King s Property had decomposed quartz and was site of a 10 stamp mill. The Carr Creek Placer is 240 acres of clay and gravel that contains placer gold. Area watercourse gravels and sands contain placer gold. The Hicks-Wise Mine was 110 ft., deepest shaft in state, and the Lee Mine, quartz vein in slate, was rich lode gold deposit. The Valdor Property contained rich lode gold deposits. The Arbacoochee Placer was the most extraordinary gold placer deposit in Alabama, covering 600 acres on top and sides of Gold Hill, once giving employment to 600 men. The Clear Creek placers were long famed for its rich production. The Golden Eagle (Prince) Mine consisted of a 75 foot shaft and was the site of a stamp mill. The Crown Point. Property was the site of 10 stamp mill in 1893, and had pay ore in "chimneys". The Ayers Prospect was just east of Blake Cemetery, no mining done but good showings in some pits. The Mossback Property and the Wood's Hole Copper Mine were the first paying copper discoveries in Alabama, under an iron gossan with a by product of gold. The Pritchet Property had panning gold.
COOSA COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Coosa County
This county has widely scattered prospects along Weogufka Creek, Hatchett Creek and Rockford Placers. Along Weogufka Creek is where the Weogufka Creek Placer and is said to contain pans that run 4-20 colors a pan. The Gold Ridge Mine was originally prospected in 1835 for copper, but was found to contain lode gold. At Flint Hill, heavy quartz veins show gold traces. At Alum Bluff, near mouth of Hatchett Creek, the Hatchett Creek Placer Mine, gravels were rich enough to have kept 50 men working in 1840, the source of gold was probably in nearby quartz vein carrying decomposed pyrite.
Northeast of Golds Ranch was the Stewart (Parsons) Mine which contained open cuts and shafts in 200 foot wide ridge for 1/2 mile and was the site of old stamp mill.
Southeast of Rockford were some old prospects with gold showings. Along Gin House Branch and Carrol and Pole branches was the location of the Rockford Placer which was productive in early years.
RANDOLPH COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Randolph County
The gold bearing deposits of Randolph County border along the boundary of Cleburne County and are in similar formations to that county. Area streams and branches near Wedowee are most productive. Regional watercourse and bench sands and gravels, placer gold is found. The Gold Ridge Property with the Eckhert vein in a highly garnet containing mica schist carrying iron and garnets up to 3 inch in diameter. The dumps provide good panning. The Pinetucky Gold Mine, discovered in 1845 and extensively worked consisted of quartz veins in garnet bearing mica schist and was the site of a 20 stamp mill The mine was among earliest discoveries of lode veins in Alabama and termed a "rich specimen mine".
Near Omaha gold colors are reported in the streams.
In Wedowee, the area creek sands and gravels along the Tallapoosa River have good gold placers. A mine on Wedowee Creek is said to contain lode gold, but nearby stream gravels have placer gold.
TALLADEGA COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Talladega County
Area branches and benches along Talladega Creek are said to contain placer gold.
At Riddles Mill district, located in southeast part of the county, was the most important locality where gold mining was carried on in the Talladega County. The Riddle's Mine consisted of a 100 foot deep in quartz veins which contained lode gold, with silver and pyrite in depth. In a lead extending from Riddle's Mine, the Woodward Tract had gold, with silver.
7.5 South of Talladega on the east side of Talladega Creek, the Story Mine which contained gold in quartz veins in decomposed slates.
TALLAPOOSA COUNTY ALABAMA
COUNTY: Tallapoosa County
Tallapoosa County contains four major gold districts: Devil's Backbone, Eagle Creek, Goldville, and Hog Mountain. The Goldville district is about 14 miles long and showed great activity in the early days, when the population of the town reached 3,000. Hog Mountain is unique in Alabama in that gold veins are in granite, and here the cyanide process was first introduced into the state. The Devil's Backbone district lies in a belt of the Wedowee Formation. Placer gold is found in all streams draining the Devil's Backbone Mining District, which extends south into Elmore County, west of the Tallapoosa River, and northeast into Chambers County. Area streams and tributaries of the Eagle Creek Mining District, in the central part of the county. Area streams and branches in the Goldville Mining District, northeast of Alexander City. Several gold bearing streams and branches are located within the Talladega National Forest. Check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and mineral ownership status before conducting any prospecting activities. Obtain land owner's permission prior to entering or prospecting on private land.
3 miles out off Alexander City out on the Hillabee bridge road is the Duncan Property which consist of quartz veins with a good showing of lode gold.
Southwest of Dadeville left of the old Dadeville-Young's Ferry Road, the Holly Prospect, active in 1911 for lode gold. The Gregory Hill Mine with quartz seams in graphite schist you will find panning gold. The Blue Hill Property in surface debris contains lode gold. The lower part of the property, along with much of the Gregory Hill deposit, now lies under the waters of Martin Lake. The Terrell Property caved in site of old stamp mill and produced lode gold.
The Goldville district, with crossroads remnant about 17 miles northeast of Alexander City, extending southwest 14 mile to vicinity of Hillabee Creek bridge, with very many gold bearing prospects, placers, lode mines throughout district. The Mahan pits, heavy sulfides, rich in lode gold. On the east bank of Hillabee Creek, the Ulrich pits and Dutch Bend Mine consist of 6 quartz veins in 300 foot wide slate belt and was the site of 20 stamp mill and cyanide plant. The Chisholm Property is a 6 foot wide vein. The Tallapoosa Mine was a 185 foot incline shaft and drifts, quartz in slate, site of modern mill free milling gold. The Stone pits are long abandoned lode gold mine. The Early pits was source of rich ore lode gold. The Birdsong pits was first worked mine in district by black slave labor, 1840-50. The Jones pits was a well developed free milling gold, with pyrite mine. The Germany pits (among oldest in county) was a rich lode gold deposit. The Houston pits had much early development and rich lode gold. The Log pits, 2~4 foot quartz vein with rich "pocket type" gold. Had a production $30,000 at old $20 an oz. price.
South of Jacksons Gap was the Alabama King Mine, which can be reached from road to the Preacher Gunn Prospect by turning east on first timber access road south of U.S. 280, open cuts, incline shaft to 300 ft., surface workings in chlorite schist, site of stamp mill. The Preacher Gunn Prospect consisted of quartz stringers in chlorite schist, 2 125 foot adits. The Greer Property consisted of a quartz vein traceable to the Hammock workings. The Hammock Property consisted of hard quartz vein gold and was the site of a 10 stamp mill. There is panning gold on dumps. The Tapley Property consisted of numerous caved in openings. The Jennings Property was a continuation of the Tapley and in southwest part of the Devil's Backbone consisted of decomposed quartz veins with free gold. The Johnson Property has many old tunnels and shafts in a 1.5 mile long quartz outcrop. West of old site of Goldville was the Hog Mountain Mines and consisted of quartz veins in granite intruded into the Wedowee Formation, site of 10-stamp mill; with a total production of $250,000 before closed in 1916 by World War I.
Near Martin Dam, the Devil's Backbone district is accessible by graded road or by dirt roads from Union Church. All regional watercourse gravels, long known for panning and sluicing of placer gold. Along east shore of Lake Martin, the Dent Hill Prospect 1/2 mi. NE of the Silver Hill Mine, reached 1 mi. NE of Union Church by dirt rd. NW from Hwy. 50. 1/4 mi. NE of the Dent Hill, the Farrar Prospect consisted of several old pits in alluvium. The Silver Hill Mine had gold in dark talc slates between hornblende slates and in quartz stringers mined to 80 ft. deep and was the site of a 6-stamp mill. Part of property under lake waters now. The Mass Prospect consisted of gold in schist.