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Gold occurrences in New Hampshire have been reported on and off for the last two hundred years, but never in commercially valuable deposits. The source of the gold is not known, but it probably reflects similar occurrences in the Chaudiere River watershed in southern Quebec. I went panning here several years ago and used a high banker at the head waters of Indian Stream in the extreme northern section of the state. I found a couple of nice nuggets for my efforts.
Carroll County New Hampshire
Placer gold can be found on the Ellis River, near Jackson, and on the Swift River, near Conway.
Cheshire County New Hampshire
Placer gold can be found on the Ashuelot River near Surry and Gulf Stream near Chesterfield.
Coos County New Hampshire
Placer gold can be found in Indian and Perry Streams near Pittsburg, the Dead Diamond and Swift Diamond Rivers north of Errol and Clear Stream between Errol and Dixsville.
Near Milan the area lead, copper and zinc mines produced a by product of gold and silver.
Pittsburg is located in the extreme northwest part of county. In this area near the headwaters of Indian Stream (includes West, Middle and East branches of Indian Stream) in all gravel bars, beds, benches and terraces you can find Placer gold.
I have panned all branches of Indian Stream and have found color but no nuggets. I have quite a bit of history on Indian. I also have bits of information on other sites in New England. Below is an example. Several years ago I met some professors from McGill College working a dredge on the Ditton River in Canada just across the border from Pittsburh, N.H. They said the previous summer they had taken $3,000 out of Indian Stream, but that it was hard work. I know that back in the late 1900s there was a commercial operation, but it did not produce much.
there is a story that a St. Francis Indian named Archie Anance use to come to town and trade gold for supplies. Archie supposedly discovered gold on the Ditton but was cheated out of it. His discovery was at the time the largest strike in Canada east of the Rockies. Archie is reported to have said there is enough gold in a swamp on the Middle Branch of Indian to pay off the national debt.
GRAFTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Placer gold can be found in The Ammonoosuc, The Wild Anunonoosuc, Baker, Beebe, Gale, Mad, Salmon, West Branch and Upper Mad Rivers. It can also be found on Notch Brook, Salmon Hole Brook and Tunnel Brook.
Bath area has numerous old base metal mines which produced a by product of gold.
The Lisbon area mines produced copper, lead, silver and a by product of gold.
The Littleton area base metal mines produced a by product of gold. There is a mineralized belt containing many mines. This belt extends form southwest along Route 10 for 12-15 miles. This belt includes Lyman, Lisbon and Bath and produced gold as by product.
The Lyman area copper, lead, silver mines produced a by product of gold. The Dodge Mine had a total production of around 2,000 ounces of gold, before the veins pinched out into barren slate at about 100 foot depth.
Northwest of Tinkervale, on Gardner's Mountain, there are some area base metal mines that produced a by product of gold.
Wild Ammonoosuc River
The Wild Ammonoosuc River is located in Landaff, New Hampshire just off of Route 302. There is good access to the water from several pull offs along the river. Please ask permission from the property owners to pan or put in a dredge, trespassers are not taken kindly to. The lower part of the river, below what is known as Big Boulder, has a lot of fine flower gold, some good sized flakes and an occasional nugget. The largest nugget taken by a recreational prospector was about a half ounce. The river gets a lot of pressure in the summer months from prospectors from all over New England, but seems to always turn up enough gold to keep people coming back. Gravel bars down stream near the main branch of the Ammonoosuc River are a lot of fun to work for the small stuff and nests of good sized rocks sometimes produce nice surprises. The general area is in an ancient volcanic mountain string and the decomposing hillsides left enough gold in the streams and floodplains that a small gold rush happened here when miners returned from California. The miners noticed the geologic similarities and found quite a bit of gold for a short time. A few small hardrock mines sprang up but didn't find enough gold to be profitable. These old mines are still visible but too dangerous to enter. New Hampshire has permit process for dredgers but no permit is required for panning.
Sullivan County New Hampshire
Placer gold can be found in Bloods Brook near Sullivan, the Cold River near Acworth and Willow Brook near Plainfield.