Gold Panning in the East and South

Although the western U.S. is known in history and folklore for its gold strikes, gold panning in the east and south could net you a bit of the valuable metal as well.

| July/August 1979

  • 058 gold panning - robert gubbins - Fotolia.jpg
    If you're persistent, gold panning in eastern and southern states could be profitable.

  • 058 gold panning - robert gubbins - Fotolia.jpg

We'd always dreamed of owning a small place in the country, but with a family of seven to feed my wife and I could never quite save enough money to finance our move.

A couple of years ago, however—during an extended vacation in Colorado—we decided to try our hands at gold panning. The children were delighted and pursued the project with great enthusiasm. But after the youngsters found their first specks of aurum, the "game" suddenly became more serious. As it turned out, our finds for that summer were limited by our inexperience and crude methods.

Once we got home, I began to read up on the subject and was surprised to learn about the existence of gold fields on the "Atlantic side" of the country. When my business took me to Vermont for a couple of weeks I decided to check out the stories about eastern gold in my spare time. I did some research, chose the most likely spot, and tried my luck as soon as I arrived. The result was a little over two ounces of almost pure gold!

Last year, encouraged by my success in New England, the family decided we'd try our luck in Arkansas with a homemade sluice. That trip was such a success that we were able to purchase a three-acre farm, build barns, pay for 130 fruit trees, and make a sizable down payment on a trailer house!

We've planned another gold-hunting expedition into the southern gold fields for this year. In fact, I've already bought a special metal detector that's equipped to find small pockets of gold under water. (Our next purchase will be a lightweight aluminum sluice suitable for backpacking.)

How do you go about finding out if gold may be waitin' to be discovered in your locale? First of all, write to your state's bureau of mines and/or geology for information on placer gold. Then go to the largest library near you and request the area's oldest Geological Survey Mineral Reports.

Robert Willard_2
8/22/2009 2:07:57 PM

The Arkansas state geologist and USGS both confirm there is no gold in Arkansas. How can you publish this article with no proof? I was a subscriber to MEN from the first issue. You are now party to fraud.

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