Arbacoochee in Cleburne County, Alabama was the site where gold was first discovered in Alabamam in 1832. According to historian George W. Yarbrough,
“This was probably the most profitable gold mine in Alabama’s history.”
Arbacoochee was named after the old Creek Indian village of “Abihkuchi”, which translates to “a pile at the base.” Arbacoochee is located on CR-42 between SH 46 & SH 9, nine miles southeast of Heflin, Alabama.
Arbacoochee Alabama Gold
Gold was discovered in Arbacoochee in 1832, and the local mines produced over $5,000,000 worth of gold. In 1845, less than 15 years later, it was bursting at the seams with 5,000 residents. Reportedly, the Arbacoochee business district included 20 general stores, hotels, saloons, and of course, stores where miners could purchase equipment.
Arbacoochee Alabama History
1880 was the only year a population was officially reported for the unincorporated community: 50 persons. This made it the second largest community behind the then-county seat of Edwardsville.
The town fell when miners left for the California gold rush. Although there was still mining in Arbacoochee until the 1930’s, there was no resurrection, and it was empty by 1990. A once bustling mining camp, it is now another Alabama ghost town with little to show for the rich gold that was once so abundant there.
Bill Plott, writing for the Tuscaloosa News, reports “Gold Mining Still Going On In Alabama.”