We saw another view of this gold dredge on the John Day River in this image, but I think this one gives a better perspective. Alva Day took this photo in March, 1928.
I took the tour of the gold dredge in Sumpter, Oregon, two years ago. It looks very much like this, but I can't imagine these dredges were portable enough to go from one river system to another. The Sumpter dredge operated on the Powder River, which flows into the Snake River.
This document describes gold dredge operations on the Middle Fork John Day River starting in 1933, a few years after this Alva Day photo. The image below shows the aftermath of this dredging operation. 85 years later the ridges of gravel deposited by the tail end of this beast are clearly visible.
Saw the same dredge you did, Arthur, also two years ago. Enormous, fascinating, terrible machine. Wrecked that whole valley nicely.
Kyle on 17th September 2019 @ 8:05am
Did they take you inside that mammoth contraption? It makes me cringe when I see how they wash out hillsides in Alaska for such a small amount of gold.
nels on 17th September 2019 @ 10:15am
Yes, nels, the tour takes you through the beast. It's an Oregon state park.
ArthurB on 17th September 2019 @ 11:11am
I've added a couple of paragraphs to this post describing a dreging operation in this area in the same era as Alva Day's visit.
ArthurB on 17th September 2019 @ 5:12pm
Doesn't the computer that I am using to look at this photo, use gold?
L. E. on 17th September 2019 @ 9:31pm
Gold is used in very small amounts in modern electronics. According to this article from Dell computer, a smartphone has about 1/1000 ounce of gold and a laptop has about 25/1000 ounce of gold. This article is from 2013, so I would expect it to be less today: https://blog.dell.com/en-us/how-much-gold-is-in-smartphones-and-computers/
ArthurB on 18th September 2019 @ 9:31am