Past Meetup

Gold Panning Day Trip to Connecticut!

This Meetup is past

2 people went

Leadmine Brook

E Main St, Route 6 · Thomaston, CT

How to find us

We will meet the drivers at a Predetermined location

Location image of event venue


Last week we talked about the discovery of gold in Litchfield County and how it caused a mini-gold rush at Spruce Brook in East Litchfield. Just a bit down the valley from Spruce Brook, is Lead Mine Brook, one of the contributors to the many floods in the Naugatuck Valley.Lead Mine Brook is particularly fascinating. The traditional story behind the naming of the brook begins in 1657, when two Farmington settlers, John Stanley and John Andrews were hunting and exploring the area above what is now the Thomaston Dam, and allegedly found a large outcrop of what was either graphite or galena, i.e. lead. It was never clear which one was found, despite their being two different substances with a common name.They brought back a sample of their find to Farmington and this inspired two other settlers, William Lewis and Samuel Steele to obtain a questionable deed from the local Tunxis natives for the low, low price of only $37.99. The area purchased encompassed the land named Matetcoke (now Mattatuck), which ran along the Naugatuck River valley from Waterbury all the way to Harwinton. I’d say Lewis and Steele got a pretty darn good deal.But where the heck was the lead? No one since has ever found lead in significant quantities there, if at all, despite massive searches for it. In the 1860s a huge search party of over 100 people scoured the area for the elusive lead outcrop and it was never found.After hearing the legend at the age of 10, I dragged my father out there to look for it myself. We never found any dull, grey lead-like rock, on that trip, or on subsequent trips as an adult. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did find a dull, lead-like substance out there once, but that was my ex, Dwayne, and is a whole other story. Back to the lead legend.In 1905, a 50-pound lead specimen was dragged into a Thomaston restaurant and displayed there as the legendary Stanley/Andrews slab. But the mining source was never established, and it was never seen again.Another account states that another lucky unidentified hunter found the legendary lead source, cut off a piece of it and was promptly struck down by the devil himself, losing the lead chunk. He couldn’t find it again and was so shaken by the experience that it took quite some time to recover.Lead was a fairly valuable commodity, it’s main use being for musket balls, cannonballs and later bullets. If it had been found, it would have been mined aggressively. So what’s the idea behind the name?

Come out and Have some fun Gold Panning in Connecticut the day before Christmas!

We will go out together and Gold Pan, share stories, have fun and bring back some GOLD!.

The exact location is a secret, so you have to come out to see where it is! :-)

Bring a Gold Pan, warm gloves, water and snacks and a hand shovel, camping shovel if you have one!

Click here for the link to the map

another map of the area

Some Instructions at Bottom, SCROLL DOWN !




IT WILL BE A LITTLE COLD ! Bring a Gold Pan !



1 Choose a river or stream that has produced gold in the past. Look for a waterway that is fast-moving, featuring waterfalls and rapids.

2 Check the surrounding hills for signs of quartz and mineralization. Both gold and quartz begin their formation as veins inside large rocks. Remember that gold will be present only in a mineral-rich area.

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First Time to Buy Gold? ( Avoid the Costly Rookie Mistakes. Request a Free Gold Investor's Kit! ( 3 Locate a section of the river that is deep enough to completely submerge your pan. Watch the strength of the current as well. You need a steady water flow that will move silt downstream, but not so rapid that it interferes with panning.

4 Find a promising spot by looking at the river's natural features. Large tree trunks, gravel bars, moss and bends in the river are prime locations for panning.

5 Work a few test pans from the spot you've chosen. Look for black sand as you pan; gold will not appear where there is no black sand. If you're not having any luck from the initial pans, move on and try another spot.

Read more: How to Locate a Spot to Pan for Gold | (

Attendees (2)