Gold producing localities of placer gold in Vermont.
Vermont has a long history of gold mining dating back to the 1855 when gold was discovered by returning 49ers from the gold fields of California. Two of these early mines were in the towns of Bridgewater and Plymouth. As a young man Calvin Coolidge who later became the President of the United States lived in Plymouth where he to tried his hand at mining the local gold.
According to the state geologist’s report prepared during the 1860s the presence of gold in Vermont was acknowledged, but according to him you could make more money working on a farm then you ever could as a gold miner. Yet the miners persevered and from one mine near Brattleboro $1,700 worth of gold was recovered in one season where the miners were working a 45 square rod claim. The maximum amount of gold they recovered was $70 in one day.
The gold itself is recovered from both stream deposits and from a talcose schist where it occurred in quartz veins associated with pyrite. This is a common association for gold where geologists feel that the ultra-mafic rocks represented by talc and serpentine are fragments of the oceanic crust that got caught up into the sediments of a back island arc similar to today’s Sea of Japan. These rocks were incorporated into the early Green Mountains by the orogenic events that built the Taconic Mountains a range that rivaled today’s Rocky Mountains.
Some of the Vermont localities that have produced gold include:
“....BRIDGEWATER - original mine and Ottauquechee River in Windsor City
....PLYMOUTH - original mine and area nearby in Windsor City
....ROCK RIVER - at Newfane and Dover
....WILLIAMS RIVER - at Ludlow
....MINISTER BROOK - at Worchester
....LITTLE RIVER - at Stowe and Waterbury
....GOLD BROOK - at Stowe
....MISSISQUOI RIVER - at Lowell, Troy
....WHITE RIVER - at Stockbridge or Rochester
....WEST RIVER - at Jamaica or Towsend
....MAD RIVER - at Moretown, Warren and Waitsfield
....SHADY HILL BROOK - at Wrightsville
....GIHON RIVER - at Eden
....LAMOILLE RIVER - at Johnson”
From the author’s experience who has found gold in several other streams draining the east flank of the Green Mountains as well as some of those draining the west flank too, including:
….Roaring Brook running along Rt. 9
….The North Branch of Deerfield River running through Mt. Snow’s parking lot
….The Deerfield River running through Wilmington
….West River at I-91 north of Brattleboro
These are all areas that have produced placer gold. Most of the time it is rather sparse,
but several years ago a lucky prospector hit a pocket of gold that allegedly produce more
then $2,800 worth of in one afternoon.
For more information about gold mining go here!
Report of the Vermont State Geologist, pp 302, Google Books
Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Gold Sites, http://www.mayhillpress.com/maine.html