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Tallapoosa County Alabama

Tallapoosa County, Alabama, contains four major gold districts:

  • Devil's Backbone
  • Eagle Creek
  • Goldville
  • Hog Mountain

The Goldville district is about 14 miles long and showed great activity in the early days when the town's population reached 3,000. Hog Mountain is unique in Alabama because gold veins are in granite, and 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 tributaries are located within the Talladega National Forest. Before conducting any prospecting activities, check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and mineral ownership status. Obtain the land owner's permission before entering or prospecting on private land.

Three miles out off Alexander City, the Duncan Property is on the Hillabee bridge road, consisting 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. You will find panning gold in the Gregory Hill Mine with quartz seams in graphite schist. The Blue Hill Property in surface debris contains lode gold. The lower part of the property, along with much of the Gregory Hills deposit, now lies under the waters of Martin Lake. The Terrell Property caved in the site of an old stamp mill and produced lode gold.

The Goldville district, with a crossroads remnant about 17 miles northeast of Alexander City, extends southwest 14 miles to the vicinity of Hillabee Creek bridge, with many gold-bearing prospects, placers, and lode mines throughout the 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 a 300-foot wide slate belt and were the site of 20 stamp mills and a 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 were the source of rich ore lode gold. The Birdsong pits were first worked mine in the district by black slave labor, 1840-50. The Jones pits was a well-developed free milling gold with pyrite mine. The Germany pits (among the oldest in the county) were 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 of $30,000 at old $20 an oz. Price.

South of Jacksons Gap was the Alabama King Mine, which you can reach from the road to the Preacher Gunn Prospect by turning east on the first timber access road south of U.S. 280, open cuts, incline shaft to 300 ft., surface workings in chlorite schist, site of a stamp mill. The Preacher Gunn Prospect consisted of quartz stringers in chlorite schist, two 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 ten-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 the 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 the old site of Goldville was the Hog Mountain Mines, consisting of quartz veins in the granite that intruded into the Wedowee Formation, site of a 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 or dirt roads from Union Church. All regional watercourse gravels are long known for panning and sluicing of placer gold. Along the east shore of Lake Martin, the Dent Hill Prospect is 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 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 were the site of a 6-stamp mill. Part of the property is under lake waters now. The Mass Prospect consisted of gold in schist.

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