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Steve Bookout and some of his Iowa Gold
Steve Bookout and some of his Iowa gold!

Gold Locations In Jasper County Iowa

Reported By: Steve Bookout

South Skunk River

Some flake gold has been panned from channel of South Skunk River, South West of Newton and near Hiway 14. Gold locations are very spotty, but this has been the most productive site we have found this year.

Gold Locations In Mahaska County Iowa

Reported By: Steve Bookout

Des Moines River

Fine gold and some flake has been found near the Pella-Harvey bridge that spans the Des Moines River just North of Harvey. River is rip-rapped with old boxcars on North bank at site. Fine gold found in sand layer in river banks on South side and in main channel, if you can get through overburden.

Gold Locations In Marshall County Iowa

Reported By: Steve Bookout

Iowa River

Flour gold has been found in Iowa River about 2.5 miles Northwest of Le Grand at the Three Bridges County Recreation area. Site was once an old mill. Great rapids for operating sluice. Gold was from North side of river, immediately West of the old 1880s bridge (closed off) located in the center of the park. Overburden about 2.5 feet deep if you wish to dredge.

I received an Email from Steve Bookout with this information on Iowa.

Tom, From the State's letter to me:

" Historically, gold has been reported along the Iowa River near Steamboat Rock and Eldora in Hardin County; along Otter Creek near West Union, Brush Creek and the Volga River in Fayette and Clayton Counties; along the des Moines River near Pella, Douds and Farmington; along Vasser creek in northeast Davis County; and along the Little Sioux River near Correctionville in Woodbury County and near the town of Cherokee. Along the Big Sioux River at Klondike in Lyon County, a small placer mining operation recovered gold from river gravels in the early 1900s -- Iowa's only known commercial gold mining venture."

" In 1853 an Eldora innkeeper named John Ellsworth reported gold on his farm along the Iowa river. As news of the discovery spread, Iowa experienced its own gold rush. It is estimated that as many as 3,000 would-be miners descended on the Eldora area in search of instant wealth; all left disappointed."

" In 1904 a report on the Geology of Fayette County by T.E. Savage (Iowa Geological Survey Annual Report XV) stated that $1.00 to $1.50 worth of gold could be panned from Otter Creek by a "patient washer" in a day. In 1904 an ounce of gold was worth only $20.67. Today with the value of gold about $300 per ounce, a similar day's work could produce gold worth about $25."

Thought you might find this interesting as one never hears much from or about Iowa. This gold comes out of Minnesota and Canada and was deposited when the Des Moines Lobe was formed. I guess there was about a dozen glaciers truckin' through here periodically. Later, Book

© Mike Higbee's Prospectors Cache / Mike Higbee - mailto:49erMike@tomashworth.com / Revised