Following the Civil War, the land that is now Prince William Forest Park was split among small landholders. The owners were family farmers, making only enough to survive. However, this area was greatly affected by the Industrial Revolution. One of these operations was the Greenwood Gold Mine.
Greenwood Gold Mine was located in the northwest corner of the park along Quantico Creek. There are few records that tell of its operation. It was only open for several years before closing in 1885.
Currently, there are remnants of buildings, though it is not known for what each was used. Two shafts and trenching can be seen at the site. Most of Virginia’s gold mines were depleted as early as the 1830s and 1840s. Virtually all investments in mining were made out West. A local historian said that as late as the Great Depression, locals found their way to the mine, but returned with only a small reward for their efforts.
Similar to the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine, there were environmental consequences. They were not as severe at the Greenwood mine as they were at Cabin Branch. The Greenwood site is known to have contaminated Quantico Creek with mercury.