Maybe you guys all know about this, but it was new to me when it came up in a chat today: the Sumpter Valley Dredge.
The way it was described to me is that this was a gold dredging operation. They created a man-made lake just big enough for the barge that holds the dredging equipment. It digs up dirt, sifting it for gold, extending the lake in “front” of it, and putting the tailings “behind” it. Kind of a traveling lake.
Nothing to do with trains but I thought it was crazy and kind of cool.
An impressive piece of mining equipment is the centerpiece of this park nestled in the town of Sumpter Valley, at the base of the majestic Elkhorn Mountain Range. Essentially a ship on dry land, the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge unearthed the valley in search of gold, leaving piles of debris in its wake.
Sumpter Valley Dredge was the last of three built in Sumpter Valley. It ran almost continuously, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, from 1935 until 1954. It’s estimated the dredge dug up more than $4 million in gold during its lifetime.