By Danny Crownover
Last week The Vagabond discussed Native Americans from this area who claimed knowledge of where deposits of gold and silver were located. Of course, those claims amounted to nothing.
However, The Vagabond did some research and found much was mentioned about finding gold in this area.
At Pollard’s Bend lies a small stream named, with good reason, as Gold Mine Branch. Sometime before 1890, somebody found gold in the branch, which caused much excitement. Some gold was brought out of the stream by panning and sluicing, but not enough to make the effort worthwhile.
The Coosa makes a grand sweep in this section of the river, forming the big bend said to be the largest on the river. It was said that it took a steamboat two hours to maneuver around the bend, which sweeps by Leesburg and Centre and comes down to the edge of Etowah County.
Another such story was mentioned back in 1902, when Walnut Grove farmer L.B. Phillips had an expert test some ore found on his place. Phillips was assured that the specimen was rich in copper and contained some gold. Mr. Phillips said the field would be developed.
In 1904, a Glencoe correspondent wrote, “F. Nabors thinks he has discovered gold on his old place.” That same year, it was reported that J.A. Stephens had found gold in paying quantities on his farm near Piedmont. Several farms in the Piedmont area and Cleburne County had metal mined from time to time, but the mining inevitably proved to be unprofitable.
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