Oregon has a long history of gold mining though it's not discussed much anymore. Alva Day photographed this gold dredge in March, 1928, apparently up near the John Day river. Feel free to fill in anything you know about gold mining in the northwest.
I know that my great-great grandmother, after she was widowed and lived at Columbus used to can peaches, pack them in boxes, then they were ferried to the Oregon side where they were put on the train to go to the gold fields in Idaho. This way she helped support her young family, as those peaches sold for a premium over there.
I know also that there was gold up in the Simcoe Mountains, as my great-great grandfather used to go up there with his friend, John Golden ( the man who started Goldendale) when they had a little free time. They would stand in that cold water and pan, which probably led to the paralysis eventually in my great-great grandfathers legs. Nerve damage from that exceptionally fridgid water. If they were successful I have no idea.
charlott on 26th November 2012 @ 8:09am
I know my great grandmother ran the farm while my great grandfather was off looking for gold in eastern Oregon.
When our children were young, we traveled to Brownlee Reservoir on the Snake to camp and fish. Signs were posted to not eat the fish, (especially children), because of mercury residue from gold mining.
I think Oregon's largest gold strike was in the Rogue River area in the southwestern corner or Oregon.
l.e. on 26th November 2012 @ 8:21am
Gold dredging was certainly an interesting chapter in our history. I am pleased that one is preserved up at Sumpter among all those ugly tailings that the Sumpter Valley RR (only wood burning steam locomotive in Oregon) runs through. I understand someone has a proposal to "remine" the tailings as something like 40% of the gold was pulled out originally. I can only imagine the noise these machines made while "plowing" up the valley.
Arlen Sheldrake on 26th November 2012 @ 9:45am
When I was a young boy in the 1940's, I spent at least 2 weeks every summer on a mining claim. My Grandfather had a gold mine up in the Elkhorn Mountains outside of Baker City. He lived in a one-room cabin with no electricity or running water. He did his mining in Elk Creek with a wheel barrow, shovel, pick, and gold pan. He used a sluice box to catch the gold tailings. Once at the Baker City Bank celebration, I got to hold a gold nugget found locally that was as big as my hand. Grandpa was a miner up there from 1935 to 1975.
Bill Seaton on 26th November 2012 @ 10:21am
Perhaps this is a Yuba Dredge?
This link has a video by KGWs Grant McCombie on the Sumpter Valley Dredge which is on display.
l.e. on 26th November 2012 @ 10:41am
ALL interesting stories! Thank you!
Jill Stanford on 26th November 2012 @ 5:28pm
I agree! When I choose the photos I never know which ones will start the stories coming. I didn't expect much from this one.
Arthur on 26th November 2012 @ 8:50pm
My aunt and uncle had a summer cabin on the Yuba River in California. Wonder if that is where the term Yuba Dredge came from They lived just a few miles from what was called the Molitoff (don't know if that is how it is spelled) but that is where they just washed the land away with the high power water. Saw lots of people actually panning in the Yuba River. Lots of gold came out of those areas and there is still "gold in them thar' hills." In fact, there was a mine tunnel on their property, though it was all boarded up and a no - no to a bunch of inquisitive kids...
charlott on 27th November 2012 @ 8:18am
A ghost themed reality TV show will debut January 16 on the Syfy network. "Ghost Mine" combines ghost hunting and the Sumpter area's mining history.
l.e. on 4th January 2013 @ 5:42pm