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Gold Can Still Be Found in New England!
#1
GOLD PANNING TERMS
BAR. pertains to rivers, generally a sand bar.
BLACK SAND. . . is usually magnetite, hornblende, hematite and other minerals. It is very heavy and is found with gold.
DIGGIN'S. . for weekend miners, it refers to wherever they happen to be working along the river on any particular day.
DREDGING. . . is a method of processing a great deal of material from under water. A suction hose acts much like a vacuum cleaner to pick up sand, water and gold from the river. A motor and sluice floats in mid-stream atop a large inner-tube. Operators wear wet-suits, goggles & other scuba gear.
DRY-WASHING. . . is the process used in the desert when no water is near. Gold-bearing sand is shoveled into the "hopper" at the top, then billows are worked, either by hand or by a motor, and the overburden is blown off by air-power, leaving the gold to settle in riffles. The final step of retrieving the gold is panning.
DUST. . . a term used to describe minute particles of gold.
FLOAT. . . the particles of gold that stays on the surface of the ground, usually scattered downhill from its original source......
FOOL'S GOLD. . . is mica, pyrite, or cubes of iron pyrite. All will crack and crush and, under a magnifying glass, will appear rough and grainy. Will not shine in the shade as gold does.
GLORY HOLE. . . is any crevice or low spot where you've
found a concentration of nuggets or flakes.
GROWLERS. . . are nuggets which can be heard "growling" in your pan even before you get down to seeing them.
GOLD. . . will shine in shade or sunshine. It can be of different colors. When alloyed by nature with silver, it will appear lighter in color; when alloyed with copper, it will appear darker.
HARDROCK MINING. . . is what vacation-miners call it when having to use a pick, pry-bar, gads or rock hammer to open crevices.
HI-GRADING. . . is the expression used when finding a nugget just lying on bedrock, or loose on the ground where no digging is necessary. In the old days, it meant miners were illegally removing gold from a mine where they were employed.
NUGGET. . . a lump of native gold of no special size as long as it "rattles" when you shake your gold pan.
OVERBURDEN. . . the silt, sand, and gravel that accumulates at the bottom of a river bed above bedrock and gold.
PANNING. . a method of extracting gold from stream beds.
PLACER. . . where gold is found with concentrations of sand, gravel, silt, and/or boulders.
PLINKERS. . . very small nuggets, but big enough to be picked up with tweezers.
PLUNKERS. . . nuggets that make a "plunk" sound when
dropped in your empty pan.
POCKET. . . generally means a low spot or hole or crevice in bedrock that has captured dust and nuggets.
SLUICING. . . a method of extracting gold from a river by using a series of troughs, with riffles or slats attached to the bottom to trap gold.
SNIPER. . . the name given to a person who uses a "snuffer" and snipes gold from under water crevices.
TAILINGS. . . or mine-dumps are mounds of earth left after gold-bearing ore has been removed. Tailings occur at the end of a sluice-box and must be pushed away periodically.
VEIN. . . a term referring to a lengthy occurrence of an ore.
Gold Can Still Be Found in New England!
printed in Gazette with permission from  Andy Sabisch
When someone mentions gold mining or prospecting, thoughts of California, Alaska, Georgia, or Australia usually fill ones mind; however, New England still holds enough gold to keep weekend prospectors busy for years.
While gold was found in some of Vermont's streams as early as the 1820s, it wasn't until 1855 that a true gold rush began. Matthew Kennedy, a prospector who had spent a considerable amount of time in the California gold fields, was fishing along the shore of Buffalo Brook near Plymouth. Suddenly he spied a familiar glint from something partially buried among the gravel in the stream bed. Upon picking it up, he found himself holding a beautiful gold nugget. Hundreds of fortune seekers quickly came to the Green Mountains hoping to find some of the precious yellow metal. There are reports of farmers abandoning their farms and heading for the nearby streams to try their luck at prospecting.
Unfortunately, accurate records of how much gold was actually recovered were not maintained; however, several geologists at the University of Vermont have stated that it as "considerable". Local records reveal that in the summer of 1858, one miner panned over $2,800 in gold nuggets from Buffalo Brook. Later that year, approximately $42,000 was recovered from a nearby sluicing operation. Mining activity remained strong in many areas throughout the state and in 1884, a newly opened mine in the Plymouth area reported that they had removed $78,000 worth of gold in a six-month period. The gold rush peaked in 1885 when a number of mines were started in the Raymond Hill and Freestop Hill areas north of Plymouth. All of these mines failed to turn a profit, and when they closed their doors, the boom days of gold mining began to fade into just memories.
Despite the demise of commercial gold mining activity in the state, recreational prospectors still comb the streams and rivers of New England searching for and recovering the precious yellow metal. Geological studies have shown that the best prospecting sites for gold in New England are located in Vermont. The purity of Vermont gold is also higher than that found in many other parts of the country and ranges from 96 to 98 percent pure.
Most of the gold being recovered is in the form of flour gold, flakes, and small nuggets. Large nuggets are not common; however, they have been found on a somewhat regular basis. In recent years, nuggets ranging in size from a few grains to over an ounce have been recovered from many of the streams frequented by modern day prospectors. John Hiller, the author of two books on New England prospecting, mentions that while panning on Gold Brook near Stowe recently, he saw a woman recover a 3/4 ounce nugget just upstream from where he was working.
It is important to remember that many of the gold bearing streams in New England run through private property and permission from the landowner is required before doing any prospecting. Sluicing and panning is allowed in all areas where permission has been obtained; however, the use of dredging equipment requires a permit from the state for the specific area you will be working in. An application for this permit and additional restrictions can be obtained by writing to the Forest Supervisor - Green Mountains National Forest, P.O. Box 519, Rutland, VT, 05701.
Some of the streams in which gold can still be found include the Rock River in Newfane, the West River in Townsend, the Ottauquechee River in Bridgewater, the White River in Stockbridge, the Third Branch of the White River in Braintree, the Mad River in Warren, Shady Rill Brook in Wrightsville, Minister Brook in Worchester, Little River and Gold Brook in Stowe, the Lemonille River in Johnson, the Gihon River in Eden, the Missisquoui River in Lowell, the Williams River near Ludlow, and Willie Brook in Grafton. John Hiller's books, entitled New England Placer Gold - How and Where to Pan for Gold in New England and Yankee Gold, provide additional sites along with detailed maps, as well as information on regulations and tips on finding gold..
George & Scott Streeter have been searching for (and finding) gold and other minerals in Vermont for over 15 years and they are very knowledgeable in most all aspects of prospecting including where to look and what type of equipment to use. They run Streeters Treasure Hunting Supply in Keene, NH which is the only full service prospecting shop in the VT & NH.. Streeters carries a complete line of prospecting equipment and supplies including metal detectors, gold pans, sluice boxes, dredges, digging tools, books, and topographical maps. If you are interested in trying your hand at prospecting, a visit to Streeter’s shop will be time well spent. The shop is located in center Keene beside the Keene Fire Station and additional information can be obtained by calling Streeters at (603) 357-0607. A shop in VT which sells prospecting supplies is Leisure Lines in Rutland, VT.
If you are in the New Hampshire & or Vermont area, try your hand searching for the elusive yellow metal - who knows, you might just catch a case of Gold Fever......
All material copyrighted, Info-Services 1996
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