Bethel Maine History—The Bethel Journals—Minerals and Gems—Gem Digs at Bethel Outdoor Adventure

Gem Dig and Sluice at Bethel Outdoor Adventure

At the Bethel Outdoor Adventure center in Mayville, there is a hands-on gem dig and sluice attraction. The Dig and Sluice season runs from May to October. It is supported by The Maine Mineralogy Expeditions.  MME  consists of the Parsons’ Bethel Outdoor Adventure, Jim Mann and Mt. Mann‘s museum and crystal cave and Seabury Lyon.  This group also runs expeditions to the Bumpus Mine.  The mine is open to group tours run by MME through the auspices of Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden who own the mine.

The MME has an excellent website that tells you all about their activities – found by searching for Maine Mineralogy or by going to  This website includes emailed comments sent in by individuals, families and groups. 

One email came in from a family that enjoyed having the Mt Mann museum and cave available for them to see as a rainy day option. These emails also praise Seabury Lyon for the way he handles mine tours and answers questions.  What you see and do on a mine tour is covered very well by a video tour that is part of their website.  It does not take a great stretch of imagination to see how the MME’s program could be folded into the future Maine Mineral, Gem and Memorabilia Museum.



 The First Annual Tube, Treasure and Scavenger Hunt made its grand opening for the July 2011 Mollyockett Day fair and events.  The tubing event started at Bethel Outdoor Adventure with a tube race down the Androscoggin to Davis Park; then contestants had to jog back to the adventure center searching for treasure along the pathway. Last challenge was finding mineral and/or gem treasure at the Dig and Sluice cave back near the point of beginning.


Players who were first to cross the finish line at the Dig cave  completed the course in about an hour.


Right:  July 2010, a large group from the Fernwood Cove Summer Camp for Girls in Harrison spent a good part of the day at the Maine Mineralogy Sluice located at Bethel Outdoor Adventure.  Groups like this one represent a sizable part of the pubic attracted to our local mineral and gem experiences. 

Under the big tent, girls were gathered into three groups – some at tables searching through a gravel and mineral mix for a possible gold nugget, clustered around Seabury Lyon asking questions and at the sluice trough.

Right: Seabury Lyon guides a group through the steps of digging, screening, sluicing  (panning for gold) at  Bethel Outdoor Adventure’s “Big Top”.

The Bethel Journals

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

Compiled/edited by Donald G. Bennett