Sumpter Gold

(Sumpter OR)
Gold and silver was discovered in Oregon in the 1860s. This resulted in numerous overnight boom towns that flourished and then disappeared when the mines played out. However, some of those towns survived, and Sumpter was one of them.

Pond with gold digger in it

Gold Dredge

It started with an accidental discovery by two miners headed elsewhere who tried their luck in the local stream, and struck gold. Before long, the big diggers came with a huge gold dredge. It really tore up the whole area and left piles of tailings everywhere. The forest has reclaimed much of it, but they are still evident if you look closely.

Train parked at depot

Narrow Gage Train

The Sumpter Valley Railway narrow gauge steam engine train was used to haul timber out of the forest to the mill. It now takes tourists on that trip. This was really a logging town; but of course, the gold got all the glory.

Machines and trees

Old Mining Stuff

A little mountain village off the beaten path, that is doing it’s best to hang on. Much of the logging industry has died, due to strict regulations, so they have turned to tourists. It so happens, they have one of the few original surviving gold dredges. And, the state has turned it into a historical site.

Stream in the woods

Babbling Brook

I boondocked a few miles down the road next to a babbling brook. It was a peaceful two nights in the woods.

Camp: Wallowa-Whitman NF – boondock
Scene: Gold dredge, train, stream

2 Responses to Sumpter Gold

  1. Dizzy-Dick July 24, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    I wonder if that old dredge reclaimed enough gold to pay for itself? I sure do enjoy panning for gold. Don’t get to do it very often. Went to a couple of “gold digs” put on by the G.P.A.A. Had a lot of fun but didn’t get rich, although I did come home with a couple of nuggets.

    • Pleinguy July 24, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Interesting comment Dick. I should try panning at some time.

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