Gold in Coosa County Alabama

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Gold in Coosa County Alabama

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HILLABEE (IWANA) GREEN SCHIST BELT

A belt of light green colored, highly pyritiferous, altered eruptive rock occurs paralleling the “Talladega” slate proper of the Talladega Mountains, on the south-eastern edge; and apparently maintaining its continuity along the line of strike, from the Coosa River, near the mouth of Weogufka Creek, towards the north-east into Cleburne county.

This rock is distinguishable from the “Talladega” slates by the large percentage of unaltered pyrites it carries, as well as by its massive structure, hardness and toughness. These last characteristics cause it to be very difficult to drill and blast; while the quantity of crystals of pyrites imbedded in it has proved in the past very attractive to prospectors for copper ore.

Gold in Rockford Alabama

Between Higgins’ Ferry and Rockford, the county seat of Coosa County. one sees the same schists and slates as occur on the west stde of Coosa River, but the dip is steeper and the texture coarser. About two and a half miles from Rockford there are found for the first time ledges of a very coarse, friable graphite, having the same course as the country rock and approximately the same dip. They alternate with the schists and slates and extend to the south western part of Coosa County, where they cross the river and are found at and near Wetumpka, assuming here, as also toward the north east part of the county, a closer grain and firmer texture. At Goodwater, a. station on the Columbus and Western Railway, in the north east part of the county, the granite becomes much harder and is suitable for building purposes. Lying in immediate proximity to the granite towards the east there occur ledges of a coarse graphitic schists carrying thin seams of quartz and pyrite, and conforming in dip and strike to the contiguous rocks. At times these quartz seams become quite large, as in the W. 4 S. W. 4 Sec. 14, T. 22, R. 18, one and a half miles west of Rockford, where one often feet in width may be seen between two ledges of granite. This quartz carries tourmaline and tantalite, considerable fragments of this latter mineral having been found on the surface of the ground during the last ten years. A piece weighing 16 ounces, now in the Geological Museum at the University of Alabama, was obtained here besides many smaller pieces. It occurs in scattered fragments and occasionally imbedded in quartz.

(For Prof. Tuomey’s description of the metamorphic rocks and the granite of Coosa County, see Appendix C.)

In immediate association with a ledge of coarse granite, a. quarter of a mile north east of the tantalite locality. I picked up from the surface of the ground nearly two pounds of Cassiter’ite, the oxide of tin, some of the crystals measuring half an inch across the face and exhibiting an, excellent crystallization. Dr. Eugene A. Smith, State Geologist, was the first to examine this locality for tln, which he did in or about 1880. In 1884 Hon. John S. Bentley, Probate Judge . in Coosa County for 18 years, sent a box of minerals from Coosa County to the elder Dr. Chas. Shepard, in which were some crystals he thought were cassiterite. In his reply Dr. Shepard told him to look out for tin. In the American Jour~ nal of Science for 1884 will be found a brief mention of the matter. Here, however, it rested. N 0 one had examined the place critically, and it seems to have been forgotten that tin had been found there. The honor of the discovery belongs to Dr. Smith. The only share I have in the matter is the further identification of the crystals as cassiterite and the securing of the largest quantity of tin ore as yet obtained in this State, about two pounds of pure crystals. I say pure crystals, for I sent a sample to A. R. Ledoux & Co., 9 Cliff St., N. Y., for analysis, while I was still in the field, and received a report from the firm that the crystals contained 78.19 per cent. of tin, theory requiring 78.68 per cent.

Investigations are now being conducted in this locality, and it is hoped that before long some interesting results will be reached. My attention was drawn to the matter first by Judge Bentley, whom I visited at his house near Rockford, Aug. 4th, 1891, and again on Aug. 13th and 14th. He told me of the occurrence of tin ore on his land and I examined the place August 5th, and again on the 14th with his son, William H. Bentley, the Judge at that time being unable to walk, having been stricken with paralysis in 1887. For more than twenty years he had been a most indefatigable investigator of the mineral wealth of the county, and indeed while I was there, although he could not take a single step nor help himself into and out of his chair, he had his servant to place him in his buggy and went with me over a considerable part of the district.

Judge Bentley was a remarkable man; always alive to the best interests of the county, popular with all classes of citizens. His untimely death, which occurred in January, 1892, removed from Coosa County one of the best of men as also one of closest observers of natural phenomena I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I can not allow this opportunity to pass without expressing sincere regret that he was taken away at this time, although such a digression may appear out of place in a report of this nature. The State can ill afford to lose such men.

In the same section with the tantalite and cassiterrite i. e. Sec. 14, T. 22, R. 18, on Judge Bentley’ land, is found an outcrop of br0Wn iron ore. It shows three feet of fair ore in a trench across the strike, but does not appear extensive enough to warrant hopes of a workable deposit. It seems to be merely a gossan, as the inclosing slates are in many places impregnated with pyrite in various stages of decomposition.

In the bed of the Gin-house branch, as also in the Carroll and Pole branches, contiguous to this locality, gold has been obtained by washing. The gold is derived from the quartz seams held in the slates and is now associated with the gravel resulting from the breaking dowu and distribution of the quartz. I do not think that the gravel is worthy of any extensive examination, although it may he that some of the quartz seams carry enough gold to warrant investigation.

Almost within the limits of the town of Rockford is an old pit sunk forty or fifty years since for gold. The ore is quartz, walled in slate, strike N. 3° E., dip S. E. 40, Width of seam 6 feet. A sample taken from the old dump gave on fire assay:

No– 1311- {88321111311333 32.} Value Per to, $12 4°

It was worked several years ago by Mr. Lewis Parsons, of Birmingham, with but little success so far as could be learned. When first opened the ore was roughly crushed and washed at a small stream near by with some profit. It is often the case that such seams near the surface, where atmospheric agencies have been at work for ages, will yield enough gold by the simplest processes to pay for the labor and give more or less of a profit besides. But as the ore becomes harder. and more especially when sulphurets begin to appear, as is almost universally the case, the crude methods of fifty years since will not suffice. This is the main reason why so many abandoned pits, shafts, &c., are to be seen in all parts of the gold belt.

In the bed of the Gin-house branch, as also in the Carroll and Pole branches, contiguous to this locality, gold has been obtained by washing. The gold is derived from the quartz seams held in the slates and is now associated with the gravel resulting from the breaking dowu and distribution of the quartz. I do not think that the gravel is worthy of any extensive examination, although it may he that some of the quartz seams carry enough gold to warrant investigation.

Almost within the limits of the town of Rockford is an old pit sunk forty or fifty years since for gold. The ore is quartz, walled in slate, strike N. 3° E., dip S. E. 40, Width of seam 6 feet. A sample taken from the old dump gave on fire assay:

No– 1311- {88321111311333 32.} Value Per to, $12 4°

It was worked several years ago by Mr. Lewis Parsons, of Birmingham, with but little success so far as could be learned. When first opened the ore was roughly crushed and washed at a small stream near by with some profit. It is often the case that such seams near the surface, where atmospheric agencies have been at work for ages, will yield enough gold by the simplest processes to pay for the labor and give more or less of a profit besides_ But as the ore becomes harder. and more especially when sulphurets begin to appear, as is almost universally the case, the crude methods of fifty years since will not suffice. This is the main reason why so many abandoned pits, shafts, &c., are to be seen in all parts of the gold belt.

Gold Near Hissop Alabama

Hissop is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Coosa County.

Near Hissop post office, on the land of F. M. Darsey, I observed a close grained granite in association with a highly metamorphosed clay slate, in Sec. 14, T. 22, R. 19, Coosa County. Mr. Darsey afterwards sent me a sample of cellular quartz from near this place but it contained ouly $2.06 in gold per ton.*

On the land of E. M. Thomas (Hissop P. O.) in Sec. 11, T. 22, R. 19, is a heavy ledge of a highly graphitic schist inclosed between walls of coarse granite. Mr. Thomas informed me that a few years ago he roasted and smelted some of this schist in a black-smith’s forge and obtained from one pound of the rock 35 cents worth of silver. This silver he had made into a collar button and, as proof that the rock contained silver and that he had extracted it, he exhibited the button. I took samples of the schist from the same spot which was said to have yielded the silver but on fire assay it failed to show more than the merest trace of gold, with no silver. As the schist is pyritous the gold may be contained in the pyrite, but certainly it is difficult to be— lieve that from this rock any one had obtained silver on the scale of $700 per ton. From near the same locality I took a sample of bluish-green mud which Mr. Thomas also assured me contained silver, as he had himself run it out. On fire assay it gave the merest trace of metal.

On the land of Harris McKinney, in Sec. 6, T. 23, R. 19, and also in Sec. 1, T. 22, R. 19, Coosa County, there is said to occur a seam of magnetite. I examined the same seam in Sec. 31, T. 23, R. 19, at Mr. McKinney’s house, where small peices of a slightly magnetic brown ore are found on the surface, but I am not of the opinion that magnetite in any quantity will be found in the vicinity. The ore is derived from the oxidation of local seams of pyrite in the schists and slates and even now pyrite may be observed in immediate proximity to the ore. I obtained at Mr. McKinney’s house a peice of sugary quartz representing a seam said to be on his land. On assay, however, it gave:

Gold Mines In Coosa County Alabama
STEWART MINE

Stewart Mine is a past producer vein deposit site in the Appalachian Highlands of Alabama, The United States. It is a small deposit, not considered to be of world-class significance.

WEOGUFKA ALABAMA GOLD MINES

All Weogufka, Alabama gold mines are located on private property.

FLINT HILL MINE

Sec. 17, T. 22, R. 16 E., Coosa Co.

Heavy seams of crystalline quartz occur here in talcose schist. Of four samples taken only one showed more than a trace of gold and this one contained $4.13 per ton.

Flint Hill is about two miles above Wm. Hardy’s Mill on We’ogufi’ka Greek. At the foot of the hill coming towards Hardy’s Mill there is found a heavy ledge of talco-micaceous schist carrying graphite and pyrite. These two minerals are so closely associated in the same rock as to give it a very odd appearance. Upon fire assay, however, I found no more than a trace of gold and silver.

In this part of the county many people have sought for a valuable silver mine said to have been worked by the Indians, but concealed by them, so that no one can find it. According to current opinion, the mine is extremely rich, having furnished the Indians with untold wealth for generations. When they left the county, some sixty years ago, they sealed up the entrance to the mine with heavy rocks and then obliterated all traces of the approaches to it. This was very unkind, for they had no reasonable expectation of returning to Coosa County, and could just as well as not have told where the mine was and how they obtained the ore. I am inclined to think that if the Indians mined silver in this part of Coosa County they had first to convey the ore there from some other locality, an operation by no means unheard of, it is true, but in this case hard to believe.

I have to thank Mr. R. C. Hardy, Dollar P. 0., for many courtesies, especially in pointing out to me one of the late Wm.Gessner’s Tin Mines. This is situated in the S. W. Sec. 24, T. 22, R. 16 E. Some excavations have been made here, . and Mr. Hardy informed me that from the ore obtained Gessner got 3.50 per cent of tin. Mr. Hardy said that he was with Mr. Gessner when he took the samples and he gave me a piece of the ore from which it is said 3.50 per cent of tin was obtained. .

The ore is a close grained, much distorted quartz veinlets bound in hydro-mica talcoid schist. No extensive investigation has been made at this place.

During my stay in this part of Coosa County I was the recipient of’ many kindnesses from Mr. Frank Higgins, who owns the Higgins Ferry and a great deal of the best land along the river contiguous to the Ferry. I desire to express here my obligations to him and the various members of his family. It is always a pleasure to meet wide awake, intelligent men who are interested in the development of the country.

The photograps taken in Chilton County and in this part of Coosa County were unfortunately lost in shipment to Tuscaloosa, so that no views can be given of the Rippatoe or the Alum Bluff.

Flint Hill Mine is a past producer deposit site in the Appalachian Highlands of Alabama. It is a small deposit.

HATCHET CREEK PLACER

Placer gold has been found at Hatchett Creek and Weogufka Creek and the Gold Ridge Mine produced lode gold. 

Widely scattered findings are reported along Weogufka Creek, Hatchett Creek and Rockford Placers. Along Weogufka Creek is where the Weogufka Creek Placer and is said to contain pans that run 4-20 colors a pan.  At Alum Bluff, near mouth of Hatchett Creek, the Hatchett Creek Placer Mine, gravels were rich enough to have kept 50 men working in 1840, the source of gold was probably in nearby quartz vein carrying decomposed pyrite.

Along Gin House Branch and Carrol and Pole branches was the location of the Rockford Placer which was productive in early years.

STEWART’S AU MINE PARSON’S MINE
WEOGUFKA CREEK PLACER
ALUM BLUFF

The name Alum Bluff is given to a bold mass of micaceous schist and quartz rising to the height of 250 feet above Hatchet Creek, near its mouth, in Sec. 35, T. 22, R. 16 E., Coosa county. The schists are in places impregnated with the sulphates of iron and aluminum arising from the action of the sulphuric acid derived from the oxidation of pyrite. The so-called Alum forms a white incrustation on the surface of the bluff, and after a long drouth can be scraped up by the handful. It occurs most plentifully near the top of the bluff opposite a large pine tree standing some 200 feet above the creek. At this place there appears a heavy seam of bluish crystalline quartz carrying decomposed pyrite. It is eight feet in width, strikes N. 30 deg. E. and dips also with the schist S. E. 40 degrees. A sample gave to Lagerfelt and Mills, Birmingham, Gold 0.60 ounce per ton, silver, trace and was therefore worth $15.40 per ton. A sample of the walling next the quartz gave in gold, 0.35 ounce and silver 0.10 ounce per ton and was therefore worth $7.33 per ton.

The quartz is somewhat cellular and the sulphurets for the most part pretty well decomposed. This is probably a true vein and is well worth further examination. I did not observe it elsewhere in the immediate vicinity, as it lies in such a position as to be easily covered by the decomposing schists. The seam could be easily mined, as it stands well above Hatchet Creek and the upper two hundred feet of workings would be self draining. I was unable to ascertain the owner of the property, although I made diligent inquiry of well informed persons.

Gold Mine Ridge

32.84044N, -86.43609W

Secs. 1 and 2, T. 21, R. 16 E., Coosa 00.

Van Zandt and Smith prospected for copper and gold on this ridge in 1855, and 001. George and Jas. L. Tait for copper and graphite in 1872 and 1873.

The ore is quartz held in a micaceous schist and carries graphite and pyrite. I secured a sample from a four foot seam and it gave to Lagerfel’t and Mills, gold 0.15 ounce and silver 0.25 ounce per ton and was therefore worth $3.35 per ton. A considerable amount of work has been done here, but all of the old pits, trenches, &c., have fallen in and nothing can be seen of the seam underground. I saw no evidences of the existence of copper in paying quantities, and the ore is too poor in gold to work for this metal under present cenditions.

AREA WAS PROSPECTED FOR GOLD AND COPPER IN 1855, AND FOR COPPER AND GRAPHITE IN 1872 AND 1873. ; ECON.COM: ONE SAMPLE FROM A 4 FT. VEIN PRODUCED 0.15 OUNCE OF GOLD

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