Bellville, History & Tourism

Strike It Rich At The Ohio Gold And Treasure Show

10 Feb , 2020  

The Buckeye Chapter of the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA), headquarterd near Bellville, are taking center stage as they join other chapters in hosting the GPAA Gold and Treasure Show this May at the Ohio State Fairgrounds and Expo Center.

As we have shared previously on 1812Blockhouse, the lure of gold has brought folks to Richland County for over 160 years. It continues to do so, and the Bellville area serves as the center of Ohio prospecting activity.

When most people think about prospecting they might not consider the midwestern states as a region where gold can be found. The truth of the matter is that the entire formerly-glaciated portion of our country, including the Ohio Valley, has small bits of gold scattered throughout. For thousands of years, waterways have been flowing through gravels left by the glaciers, washing lighter rocks downstream and leaving heavier minerals like gold and gemstones to concentrate in specific areas due to how water speed changes within the course of any creek or river.

Each year during spring flooding, additional gold is introduced into streams from areas normally outside their banks where it is redistributed and concentrated in new locations. Successful gold prospectors have learned to “read” streams to find these areas of concentrated heavier minerals.

On any given weekend spring through fall, there are many dozen individuals and families finding gold and gemstones in Ohio with tools as simple as a small shovel and a gold pan.

When the national organization the Buckeye Chapter represents announced they wanted to visit Ohio as part of their show circuit, several GPAA chapters in the region joined with the Buckeyes and enthusiastically began working to ensure visitors to this rare midwestern stop will have the opportunity to see how easy and fun gold prospecting can be. The GPAA Gold and Treasure Show is the best place to get equipment from that first gold pan and instruction on how to use it, to larger tools like dredges, highbankers or metal detectors.

With several manufacturers on hand, visitors can find the perfect tool to fill their needs but the show is about far more than selling equipment. There will be displays, demonstrations, and lectures by highly acclaimed prospectors, treasure hunters, and geologists and all attendees are free to pan for and take home their share of over three ounces of gold in the 100-foot gold panning zone.

The Buckeye Chapter’s mascot “Bucky” will be on hand for pictures and guests can meet the celebrities from Gold Prospectors Space Radio as they will be broadcasting live from the event. There are also raffles with several thousand dollars in major prizes being given away each day.

The event takes place on May 2 and 3 at the Lausche Building. General admission is only $10 with presale tickets at half-price. Children under 12, veterans and active-duty military are free. Presale tickets to the GPAA Gold and Treasure Show are available at or call 1-800-551-9707.

George “Buzzard” Massie founded the Gold Prospectors Association of America to preserve the heritage of gold prospecting in North America. Today the association has over 100 chapters with exclusive access to approximately 150 claims and leases across the nation. The Buckeye Chapter of the GPAA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting our family-friendly outdoor activities. They support Scouts of America and community outreach programs in Richland County. Tgey meet the second Saturday each month from April through October where visitors and guests are always welcome. For more information visit

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