Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gold Mine in Clermont County

I grew up in a house located less than five minutes from East Fork Lake State Park. I've always heard rumors about a gold mine being located on park property; it's common knowledge that small amounts of gold had been discovered in this area the 1800's.

Turns out there wasn't just one, but three gold mines on park property. My mom, whose grandfather owned a farm located on what is now a popular hiking and fishing area (you can still see daffodils where the farm used to be), told us she thought she knew where the entrance to a mine was. It was Sunday, the weather was beautiful, and we were we headed with my parents to look for it.

To my surprise, we found it after less than an hour of looking. Most of that time was spent looking for a road on the other side of the creek where it's located. We hiked down an old road, rounded a bend which overlooked a creek, and spotted the opening in the side of the hill.

For accountability and safety reasons, I personally don't want to reveal here exactly where we found it. I will say that it is easy enough to find if you poke around on the web a little.

I believe we found the Allen Mine. I'm not sure if this tunnel was built to access the mine, acted as a sluice or if it came later, when the trails were built. It connects to the creek through a hill. You can see the entrance of the mine from the other end.

The mine has been caved in for some time. I'm just amazed that a mystery from my childhood was cleared up in a matter of hours. We hiked further up on top of the hill, where we discovered an old foundation and well.

Who says this region is boring? My husband and I have gone on countless mini-adventures like this one. That's what inspired me to write the book I'm currently working on. Next time you complain about being bored, think about all of the things hidden around you!