The Olson's Retirement RV Adventures travel blog

#4 Dredge

Those chain links are 7' long

Some of the gear drive.

More gears.

Rear anchor pins.

Operating levers

Front boom for raising and lowering the trench boom.

Our RV at midnight.


A 20 minute drive from our campsite was the largest wooden hull dredge in North America. A gold dredge is a placer mining machine that extracts gold from sand, gravel, and dirt using water and mechanical methods. The original gold dredges were large, multi-story machines built in the first half of the 1900s. On large gold dredges, the buckets dump the material into a steel rotating cylinder (a specific type of trammel called "the screen") that is sloped downward toward a rubber belt (the stacker) that carries away oversize material (rocks) and dumps the rocks behind the dredge. The cylinder has many holes drilled into it to allow undersized material (including gold) to fall into a sluice box lined with pads that resemble weaved doormats. The material that is washed or sorted away is called tailings. The rocks deposited behind the dredge (by the stacker) are called "tailing piles." The holes drilled in the screen were intended to screen out rocks (e.g., 3/4 inch holes in the screen sent anything larger than 3/4 inch to the stacker). It was manufactured in Ohio at the cost of $250,000 and shipped by train, boat and wagons and assembled at the cost of $250,000 in the early 1900's. It is basically a four story barge in a pond that keeps moving the pond as it digs and filling it in behind. It took 18 years to move from our campground to where it is today, a 20 minute drive up the valley. Tons of GOLD.

We are experiencing almost 24 hours of daylight. I took a picture of the RV at midnight.

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