Type: Placer, Lode, Mine
Tallapoosa County contains four major gold districts: Devil’s Backbone, Eagle Creek, Goldville, and Hog Mountain. The Goldville district is about 14 miles long and showed great activity in the early days, when the population of the town reached 3,000. Hog Mountain is unique in Alabama in that gold veins are in granite, and here the cyanide process was first introduced into the state. The Devil’s Backbone district lies in a belt of the Wedowee Formation. Placer gold is found in all streams draining the Devil’s Backbone Mining District, which extends south into Elmore County, west of the Tallapoosa River, and northeast into Chambers County. Area streams and tributaries of the Eagle Creek Mining District, in the central part of the county. Area streams and branches in the Goldville Mining District, northeast of Alexander City. Several gold bearing streams and branches are located within the Talladega National Forest. Check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and mineral ownership status before conducting any prospecting activities. Obtain land owner’s permission prior to entering or prospecting on private land.
3 miles out off Alexander City out on the Hillabee bridge road is the Duncan Property which consist of quartz veins with a good showing of lode gold.
Southwest of Dadeville left of the old Dadeville-Young’s Ferry Road, the Holly Prospect, active in 1911 for lode gold. The Gregory Hill Mine with quartz seams in graphite schist you will find panning gold. The Blue Hill Property in surface debris contains lode gold. The lower part of the property, along with much of the Gregory Hill deposit, now lies under the waters of Martin Lake. The Terrell Property caved in site of old stamp mill and produced lode gold.
The Goldville district, with crossroads remnant about 17 miles northeast of Alexander City, extending southwest 14 mile to vicinity of Hillabee Creek bridge, with very many gold bearing prospects, placers, lode mines throughout district. The Mahan pits, heavy sulfides, rich in lode gold. On the east bank of Hillabee Creek, the Ulrich pits and Dutch Bend Mine consist of 6 quartz veins in 300 foot wide slate belt and was the site of 20 stamp mill and cyanide plant. The Chisholm Property is a 6 foot wide vein. The Tallapoosa Mine was a 185 foot incline shaft and drifts, quartz in slate, site of modern mill free milling gold. The Stone pits are long abandoned lode gold mine. The Early pits was source of rich ore lode gold. The Birdsong pits was first worked mine in district by black slave labor, 1840-50. The Jones pits was a well developed free milling gold, with pyrite mine. The Germany pits (among oldest in county) was a rich lode gold deposit. The Houston pits had much early development and rich lode gold. The Log pits, 2~4 foot quartz vein with rich “pocket type” gold. Had a production $30,000 at old $20 an oz. price.
South of Jacksons Gap was the Alabama King Mine, which can be reached from road to the Preacher Gunn Prospect by turning east on first timber access road south of U.S. 280, open cuts, incline shaft to 300 ft., surface workings in chlorite schist, site of stamp mill. The Preacher Gunn Prospect consisted of quartz stringers in chlorite schist, 2 125 foot adits. The Greer Property consisted of a quartz vein traceable to the Hammock workings. The Hammock Property consisted of hard quartz vein gold and was the site of a 10 stamp mill. There is panning gold on dumps. The Tapley Property consisted of numerous caved in openings. The Jennings Property was a continuation of the Tapley and in southwest part of the Devil’s Backbone consisted of decomposed quartz veins with free gold. The Johnson Property has many old tunnels and shafts in a 1.5 mile long quartz outcrop. West of old site of Goldville was the Hog Mountain Mines and consisted of quartz veins in granite intruded into the Wedowee Formation, site of 10-stamp mill; with a total production of $250,000 before closed in 1916 by World War I.
Near Martin Dam, the Devil’s Backbone district is accessible by graded road or by dirt roads from Union Church. All regional watercourse gravels, long known for panning and sluicing of placer gold. Along east shore of Lake Martin, the Dent Hill Prospect 1/2 mi. NE of the Silver Hill Mine, reached 1 mi. NE of Union Church by dirt rd. NW from Hwy. 50. 1/4 mi. NE of the Dent Hill, the Farrar Prospect consisted of several old pits in alluvium. The Silver Hill Mine had gold in dark talc slates between hornblende slates and in quartz stringers mined to 80 ft. deep and was the site of a 6-stamp mill. Part of property under lake waters now. The Mass Prospect consisted of gold in schist.