Many years ago a gold prospector who was visiting Massachusetts had some spare time on his hands so he went into Forest Park in Springfield and proceeded to pan the gravel in the small brook that runs through the park. In one afternoon he panned about a dollars worth of gold when gold was selling for $35 an ounce. Today when gold is selling for more than $1,200 an ounce this amounted to several dollars worth. At the time his take amounted to less than a gram of gold.
Just about any river or stream in the world will carry some gold in its associated sand and gravel. Just about anywhere that you would look for trout is also a good place to look for gold. It is usually found on the inside of bends, in a plunge pool at the bottom of a waterfall or any other place where the velocity of the running water suddenly slows down.
The kind of stream for gold panning is one that has a rapid flow with many rapids and Small waterfalls. A mature river like the Connecticut River is not a good place to prospect because the gold has been ground to small particles by the action of running water.
One of the places in Massachusetts where would probably be profitable to prospect for gold is in any other rivers or streams that drain the eastern flank of the Berkshires. Some of this gold was actually brought into Massachusetts by the glacier from Canada, but there is some gold that is actually found in place. One of these places is in the town of Becket where contractor was doing some road work and used about 40 tons of gold bearing quartz for road fill. He thought he actually found fools gold, until it was properly identified by a geologist.
The thing about a rich deposit like this is very spotty in some places could be worth several hundred dollars a ton and in other places in absolutely worthless. They deposit the contractor found in Becket is one of these spotty deposits.
Gold has always had a fascination about it the truth is there are more mines that can be richer in metal deposits than a gold mine, but they don't have the aura gold does. You probably could make more money with a sand and gravel pit if it was close to a market.
This is also true of placer mining for gold, the richest deposits are spotty. There are also times when it is possible to find placer gold along an river or stream in a deposit you could measure several miles. Even if $.15 of gold per ton this could be a fabulously rich mine just by processing a large amount of gravel rapidly with a large dredge.
Most of the gold is then discovered in Massachusetts is found east of the Hoosac formation in the Rowe and other schists. Many of these formations contain bodies of serpentine that are metamorphosed fragments of ocean bottom that were caught up in the tectonic movements that built the Appalachian Mountains. These formations were thrust faulted into place very similar in origin to the Shoofly formation that is thrust faulted against the western flank of the Sierra Nevada’s of California that gave us the California Gold Rush.
There are plenty of reports of the discovery of gold in eastern Massachusetts as well notable among some of the localities is the town of Douglass in Worchester County, the Blue Hills area near Boston and all along Rt. 128 circling around Boston. It is claimed this highway is built on a gold base.
There is an old saying that gold is where you find it, and these fragments of ancient ocean crust are what are called “greenstones.” Many geologists believe that gold is leached out of these rocks to be deposited in other rocks in veins of gold enriched quartz. One of these so-called greenstone belts is located to the north of Massachusetts that is one of the greatest gold producing areas in the world. It’s name is the “Abitibi Gold Belt.”
For more information about gold mining go here!
Gold is where you find it, A Hyatt Verrill, an excerpt from Minerals, Metals and Gems, http://www.stangrist.com/gold.htm
Douglass, Massachusetts, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas,_Massachusetts