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 trucking’ through here periodically.