Please note the expanded schedule above. This year, I will continue to open for the Sundays associated with the first and third Saturdays, May through October. Also, note that I will continue to supply gold ore in 1/2 gallon buckets. My visitors have indicated that the smaller quantity of sand has worked much better. The 3 gallon bags will now sell for $30 (equivalent to 6 buckets) Please check this website occasionally for new features that I expect to introduce or for special information. If anyone has suggestions for improving the program, just let me know by email. A special note for all of you that think you might want to get serious about gold prospecting: come see me or call me first, even if it is only for 10 minutes, before you buy something expensive. A brand-new gold pan needs special treatment before it can be used, so talk to me first.
McCormick, SC just north of the intersection of US 378 and US 221
Original features of the 1850's mine include the open trench, several pits and vertical shafts, dewatering piping, and a horizontal tunnel (the kids love the tunnel)
Second richest vein of gold in South Carolina (for the period)
Listed on the National Historic Register
Guided tours or self-guided tours available
Pan for gold, keep what you find (using crushed rock and natural, local gold).
Screen for gemstones: keep what you find. The types of rock will be changing early 2013.
Group visits by appointment; activities can be adjusted based on visitor age and the intent of the visit.
Mine Tour: $3, under 5 free. Gold ore: $5 per 1/2 gallon bucket (you will still find 4-8 pieces of gold per bucket), 3 gallon bags are $30. Gemstones: $5 per bucket Small Souvenir items available (vials of gold leaf in water)
Special groups: $25 minimum gate fee/mine tour for the first 8 people, plus panning or screening materials. For groups larger than 15, special arrangements can be made. Contact Dave Gray by email. See the Group Visits page for additional details and information.
Panning The Easy Way: Click here for a youtube video shot by one of my guests (thanks Danny). It shows just how easy it is to pan for gold and it is almost exactly the way I teach it at the Park. I prefer that my novice visitors go a lot slower. (This technique works well for the crushed rock ore, but you have to be a lot slower and more careful when panning creek material that has clay and super-fine gold)
As always, the gold in my ore is natural gold that has never been alloyed for jewelry, but it is local, creek gold that has been selected to be easy for beginners to recover by panning. Everyone that has visited the Park so far has been comfortable with the technique by about the third pan full of sand. In 2015, I will be shifting to gold ore in 1/2 gallon buckets. The gold content will be the same, at 4-8 pieces, but half as much sand to go through. The kids will hit paydirt a lot sooner and are less likely to get bored. If you feel you are up to the challenge, I can make it more difficult, with no extra charges.
The Website files you are currently looking at are all new; suggestions for additional material are welcome. Please report errors by e-mail. If you have historic photos or information concerning the mine or its features, let me know and I will create a space on this website to present it. Do NOT write on the materials (front or back), but include as much information as you can (dates, names, location, occasion, details, etc) on a separate document. Scanned images are preferred.
Sorry, but we are not currently set up to accept credit or debit cards. We do accept personal checks- $35 fee for returned checks.
Home Mine Info Historic Registry Web Site Panning Group Visits McCormick County Augusta Chapter GPAA Links Augusta GPAA Events
Map locations Historic Time Line Gem Identification Last Modified Feb 15, 2018 (main page, schedule, details, links)