The Inside Scoop
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 44.547 W 118° 12.251
11T E 404667 N 4955045
History sign at Sumpter Valley Dredge
Waymark Code: WM2V4J
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 12/23/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 24

Western most history sign on pier at Sumpter Valley Dredge

Marker Name: The Inside Scoop
Marker Text: As each bucket came over the top of the digging ladder, its material was dumped into a large hopper. From there, everything fed into a cylindrical screen - 6 feet across by 35 feet long - that continuously tumbled the material. High pressure water - 3000 gallons a minute - rushed over the screen and its contents. Gravity and water forced the material down the length of the screen. The material, including gold, fell out into a catch pan below, while the larger rocks and gravel were carried to the rear of the dredge and dumped into tailing piles by the stacker.
Inside, water continued to wash the finer sands, pebbles and precious minerals from the catch pan through a series of sluice boxes. Just about the whole back of the dredge was covered with sluices. In each one, there’d be a number of “riffles,” kind of like a washboard. The sand and gravel were washed away while the heavier gold was trapped in the riffles.
As years passed, more efficient means of trapping the gold were developed. They added a box like contraption - called a jig - partly filled with round metal balls, like B-Bs. Sand escaping - from the riffles would drop into the jigs - where the balls would pulverize the material. Mercury added to both the riffles and the jigs would attach itself to gold in the fine sands. This method was far more efficient at removing gold.
Very few people had access to the gold, at least officially. Though there are tales of embezzlement, the security of the gold became tighter as the years went by. After separating the gold from the mercury, it was pored into bricks for shipment to the US Treasury.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: Trail

Region: Eastern Oregon

County: Baker

Web link to additional information: [Web Link]

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

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OregonTrailRanger visited The Inside Scoop 11/25/2020 OregonTrailRanger visited it
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