Alabama Gold Locations
This page will focus on gold occurences and old mine locations in the state of Alabama. Alabama was a major producer of the yellow metal in the mid-1800’s. After the miners discovered gold in Georgia, they expanded their search into Alabama and found a hefty amount! There is still PLENTY of gold for the taking in Alabama. Why? Well when the miners were here, word got out that California was incredibly rich with gold so everyone stopped what they were doing and headed West. There methods were crude and technology has gotten so much better as you and I know. There’s still plenty for the taking!
On this page I will go more in depth on locations than anywhere else on the net! I have composed information over the years from the internet, maps, and in the FIELD personally! I have been to most places and seen it with my own eyes. I also have put together information from Alabama Geological Surveys from the late 1800’s! If you live in Alabama and prospect for gold, you will definitely want to bookmark this page as it will be loaded with information just for you!
Please click “Chilton Mines Chart” to see an excel file listing each gold mine in Chilton County and see their GPS coordinates.
I will begin this page with the southern-most county containing gold. Chilton County, this is where it all begins. Chilton County is the Southern-most portion of the Southeastern Gold Belt, starting here and progressing to the Carolina’s. It’s a toss-up between this county and Randolph County as to where I prospect the most. My partner and I have secured permission to prospect in Chilton County. I am leaving the whereabouts between him and I as it is not mentioned on any map!
I have found good color in Chilton County over the years mainly around the Blue Creek area. That is the area where the largest placer gold nugget in the state has been recovered. The area is now underwater but the creeks feeding into the Blue Creek portion of the Coosa River all contain gold. It is rumored that there is a little mining going on at this present date. Not full-scale mining with MSHA and OSHA involved but beyond and I quote “recreational”. There are a few places in the Southeastern portion of the county that are accessible from the roadway. I highly recommend seeking landowner permission in these areas. Some of these places are pretty “back-woods” and you will NOT have cell phone reception. Always go in prepared to stay a few days, even if you are only planning a day trip. You never know what could happen out in Mother Nature’s territory.
My partner and I have dredged a creek that is a tributary of Rocky Creek. We found decent color, mostly flood gold, on that trip and are continuing to work the area looking for a pay-streak in the creek or up on the banks. I am prospecting the hills looking for the lode deposit (the source of where the gold is coming from). The Rocky Creek mines are located about 1 mile South of State Route 22, not far off HWY 31 N.
I have yet to prospect the Western portion of Chilton County around Franklin Jemison and Mulberry Creek Placer Mines. The land in and around that area is owned by logging companies. They lease the land out to hunters every year. A lot of gold-bearing land in Alabama is set up this way. If anyone has prospected this area, please e-mail me and share your information/results so I can update this post. All the mines in Chilton County were Stamp-Mill mines and placer mines. If you are not familiar with a stamp-mill mine I will explain. A stamp-mill mine was operated by man and machine. The miners would retract the gold ore from its deposit in rock form. It would then be carried down to the stamp-mill. The stamp-mill would then crush the gold-bearing ore down to powder form and the gold was retracted from the dust.
Now I will share with you the information I have obtained from the Alabama Geological Survey (1892) of this area from the late 1800’s. Keep in mind this is after all the mining was done.
The Southwestern part of the Alabama belt includes portions of Chilton County. The rock exposures are limited on the Southwest 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, was The B.T. Childers Prospect with pyrite and copper minerals. Also along Mulberry Creek, 2 miles below Honeycutt’s Mill for some distance above, the Mulberry Creek Placers, productive in the early days. All the tributaries contain placer gold.
· 13 miles West of Clanton on Mulberry Creek Tributary
· Along the little branches that make into the creek, out of 30 pans, 25 had gold
· The gold is held in a mottled red and white clay, sandy and carrying angular fragments of quartz
· This clay is under laid by a stiff white clay devoid of gold
· Over laid by 4-6ft of soil & red clay, free of gold
· The thickness of the gold-bearing stratum is from 1-2ft
· No gold has been found in the soft slates which are free of gravel
· The quartz seams themselves, show free gold in the pan now and then
· The clays resulting from the decomposition of the slates are of two sorts, a soft-smooth clay with no gravel and no gold, and a sandy, gravelly clay with many angular pieces of quartz and half decomposed pyrite, carrying fine gold
· Pyritous Quartz Seams are the origin of gold here
· Gold is to be found in every little branch running into Mulberry Creek
Mottled- marked with spots or smears of color
Devoid- free from; not containing
Rippatoe Mine and Placer
At the Rippatoe Placer, the gold was derived from the small quartz veins lying between and in micaceous hornblende schists and clay slates