GOLD LOCATIONS, Gold Panning and Prospecting in Vermont
GOLD IN VERMONT
Excerpt from "Vermont Rockhounding" by Ethel Schuele.
"You're probably familiar with the famous California Gold Rush, but how many know that one occurred in Vermont? Plymouth (VT) farmers discovered placer gold in Broad Brook and for a time gave up their farming to pan for gold. Canny Yankees that they were, they soon calculated that they weren't really earning more money than they had from farming, and the Vermont Gold Rush was over. Gold can still be panned from Broad Brook today. In fact, many other Vermont streams offer the energetic collector a chance to find some placer gold as a return for a hard day's work. The locations include: Rock River in Newfane and Dover; Williams River in Ludlow; Ottauquechee River in Bridgewater; White River in Stockbridge and Rochester; Third Branch of the White River in Braintree; Mad River in Warren, Waitsfield and Moretown; Shady Rill Brook in Wrightsville; Minister Brook in Worcester; Little River in Stowe and Waterbury; Gold Brook in Stowe; Lamoille River in Johnson; Gihon River in Eden; and the Missisquoi River in Lowell and Troy".
To formally identify a mineral that you believe is gold, the material will need to be tested or assayed. A jeweler in your area may have the expertise to do this or may be able to give you the name of someone they have dealt with. The Vermont Geological Survey can provide names of testing laboratories.
Characteristics of the mineral gold include:
yellow color (shades are paler with increasing silver content)
bright metallic luster
normally occurs as small shapeless grains or flakes
soft (2.5-3 Mohs hardness scale)
very heavy; specific gravity 15-19.3; 19.3 when pure
ductile and malleable
yellow streak on unglazed porcelain
Gold is distinguished from yellow sulphide, such as pyrite, primarily by its higher specific gravity. Pyrite (FeS2) , often occurs as cubes, and is more brittle, harder, and more brassy than gold.
Permits Required to Prospect for Gold:
To HAND PAN on private land, landowner permission is required. Hand panning is allowed on state land. To HAND PAN on State or Federal land, no permit is required. There is no closed season for hand panning.
Recreational mineral prospectorst: (A) shall not operate suction dredges in any watercourse; (B) may operate sluice boxes in any watercourse, provided: (i) a request for approval to conduct mineral prospecting shall be filed with and approved by the secretary; and (ii) mineral prospecting shall not be conducted on private land without landowner permission, or on state land without permission from the secretary. Click here for a permit application.
For permit information and questions, please contact Dept. of Environmental Conservation: Morgaine Bell, Watershed Management - Rivers Programs, DEC, 1 National Life Dr., Main 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3522; 802-490-6195; email: ANR.WSMDRivers@state.vt.us; Also, visit Watershed Management Division for information on mineral prospecting and gravel extraction.
Season dates: currently June 1- October 1. For approvals of the operation of mineral prospecting equipment issued under 10 V.S.A. chapter 41:(A) annual approval for a resident: $25.00 (B) annual approval for a nonresident: $50.00. Permit applications will be reviewed pursuant to the jurisdiction of 10 V.S.A., Chapter 41, Subchapter 2, Stream Alteration, or Section 1272 of 10 V.S.A., Chapter 47, Subchapter 1, Water Pollution Control.
RELICS, COINS, & JEWELRY
Vermont has a rich history of early settlements - the perfect spot for an energetic relic hunter! Here's a few ideas to get you started:
Schools and College Campuses
Parks / Playgrounds / Picnic Areas
Foundations, Wells, and Cellar Holes of Old Churches or Houses
Downtown Construction Sites
Swimming Holes, Beaches, and Natural Springs
Camp Grounds, Boy Scout Camps, WPA Camps, and Mining Camps
Rodeo Arenas, Riding Stables, and Race Tracks
Old Fair and Carnival Locations
Old Town Dumpsites
As in other areas of the US, there are several tales of lost treasure in Vermont concerning caches buried for safety. In many of these stories, people either died or forgot where they buried the stash. Contributing factors include:
1. Federal laws making possession of gold illegal in the early 1900s
2. Distrust of banks during the Great Depression.
One does not usually associate Spanish explorers and expeditions with the Green Mountain State, but Tom Penfield (1952) told of two treasures buried by Spaniards, one of gold on the slopes of Ludlow Mountain.
One often sought "treasure" is the original wooden mint building used by Reuben Harmon and his associates in the coining of Vermont coppers circa 1785-1786. In the 1960s, when poking around Pawlet in search of clues, I was shown not one but two candidates for the structure, both moved from the original site along a brook. Too bad that Sylvester S. Crosby (Early Coins of America, 1875, p. 90) gives a fairly detailed account of the building's loss when it collapsed in a windstorm in the winter of 1855-1856.
These excerpts are a sampling from American Coin Treasures and Hoards
Info courtesy of www.treasurefish.com