This is part seven of a series about the mines featured in the Gold Rush TV show. We suggest starting from the beginning of this series. Season 7 of Gold Rush doesn’t air until Friday, October 14th but talk about the latest mining sites is already at a fever pitch. The Hoffman crew is on…
The Sumpter Museum is just half a block down from the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area and complements the park with displays of mining in the Sumpter Valley Area. While a relatively small building, the museum is full of donated mining artifacts, mineral specimens, and archival documents. Displays cover hydraulic mining, load mining, and, of course, dredging. A hard rock mining diorama includes an ore cart and assorted mining equipment. A collection of large copies include blueprints of a dredge, granting and architect’s eye view of these massive mining machines.
Kerbyville Historical Museum offers a rare glimpse into the history of Josephine County, Oregon. Exhibits span the culture of the local Takelma Tribe, timber industry, Illinois Valley pioneer settlers, and local gold mining history.
The DeWitt Museum is housed in the original 1910 two-story Prairie City Depot building. While much of the museum preserves the historic depot waiting room, station agent’s office, baggage and express room, and freight office, the second floor also houses displays highlighting local history. The collection includes mining artifacts, rocks, minerals, and photographs from the turn of the century.
The Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area is nestled in the scenic Elkhorn Mountain Range. Along with its natural beauty, however, this area is a hub for Oregon mining history. The park is dedicated to educating visitors on gold mining history in the Blue Mountains and preserves one of the largest, most accessible dredges in all of the United States. It is a striking reminder of human ingenuity and large scale mining in the early 1900s.