Gold Mining in Alabama
The probable date at which as discovered in Alabama was 1830. Gold mining in Georgia and Alabama was begun somewhat later than in North Caroline and Virginia, owing probably to their being under the control of the United States as an Indian reservation. Yet in spite of the fact that it was forbidden ground and not open to mining operations, considerable prospecting was done by intruders. After the discovery of gold, the long pending efforts of the States to acquire these Indian lands were stimulated and accelerated by the added thirst for the precious metal and were finally successful in 1830, when the state laws were extended over the nation (Cherokee) and the Indians were removed. It has been caustically remarked that intrusive mining ceased then and swindling mining commenced in 1830.
In the early days of 1830 to 1850, considerable mining in a crude way was done, but the most important work was confined to the ten years ending with 1855. Probably, the two most prominent camps in the state were Arbacoochee and Goldvilled, at the latter place there was a population of fully 3000. Ground sluicing of hill side deposits was carried on at Abacoochee in 1854, in connection with which mercury was used. Of the yield of gold there is not record, or indeed of anything in connection with the matter, except that at such and such localities large numbers of men were engaged in the work and that at certain places it was said to be profitable. There were, however, no mint-returns from the state until 1840.
Little work was done in the state during 1892 and for some years previous. In 1895, gold was discovered along the Tennesseee River, in Marshal County and considerable excitement resulted, but it was proven to be of small economic importance. The Silver Hill mine and Pinetuckey mine, Randolph County, operated. Preparation for hydraulic working was performed. In 1906, the Idaho mine of Clay County was reopened and dredges were successfully operated on the Chestatee River. Taken as whole, the outlook for gold mining was considerable more encouraging than in 1893 when Lucky Joe, Hicks Wise and Pinetuckey mined suspended operations.