Chip Gates goes in search of an old abandoned gold mine.
With regards to history, some people, places or events may have long-lasting national or even international significance. Then there are items with a more local flavor. Lastly, there are those things that only a few or just one may find noteworthy. Scott Moorer falls into this last category for me.
Scott was the first H.O.B.O. member to respond to my request for historical information about Lake Mitchell. His first letter told of an abandoned gold mine, and the old Higgins family cemetery. In follow-up correspondence, Scott kindly provided a map to these sites, both in Coosa County. Being exceedingly well prepared with this information, all that was left to do was to go have a look-see. So on a fine May day, Jeanette and I headed east across the Hwy. 22 bridge and turned left on Coosa County Rd. 121. Following Scott’s map, we arrived at the intersection that leads to the new Eagle Point subdivision. We parked here and disembarked. After entering the wood line, we soon found ourselves wishing for a couple of mountain goats to hang onto.
After scrambling down the hill, there was the mine entrance, right where Scott said it would be, which was great as there were no obvious paths or trails leading to it. Basically, the mine tunnel led straight into the side of the hill. The walls and ceiling appeared to be in good shape, and about 60 or so feet in with a good flashlight a “back” wall was discernible. Alas, there was no way to see what, if anything, branched off from this seeming dead end. Over the years, dirt and leaves had washed down from above the mine entrance, forming a natural dam. Water was backed up behind it to an unknown depth, but was still flowing out and into the woods. Using a shovel I’d brought along, I excavated a trench to help the water escape. After about 45 minutes, the water inside the mine had dropped about 8 inches. Even though I could now see ground in front of the back wall, it was still too deep to enter. Note to self: In addition to goats, next time bring raft, or wait until dry season.
Lake Mitchell HOBO, P.O. Box 1324, Clanton, AL 35046