About Friends of the DredgeHelping Preserve and Restore the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge
How We Got Started
The Friends of the Sumpter Valley Dredge, a non-profit working alongside Oregon State Parks, is dedicated to further the preservation and restoration of the historic Sumpter Valley Dredge.
Established in 1992, the Friends have worked hard to obtain funding to complete the restoration of the park enhancement projects through grants, revenue from their interpretive store, membership support, and generous donations from our visitors.
Staff and Operate the Interpretive Center
Along with the Visitor Center Manager, we have many volunteers that support our efforts each season. They give of their time and knowledge to assist us in meeting our revenue goals and visitor satisfaction. Your donations help sustain and grow our continued efforts to deliver a valuable experience to all our visitors and keep our center operating.
Provide Educational and Interpretive Experiences
The Visitor Center provides the venue for your first experience with the history of the Dredge and gold mining in the region. Plus, you have the opportunity to learn how to pan for gold! Our staff is knowledgeable with the history and heritage of the Sumpter Valley area.
Partner With Oregon State Parks in Preserving the Dredge
Friends of the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge work diligently with our grant writer to obtain philanthropic grants to support the preservation of the Dredge. Along with the Oregon State Parks, our efforts to maintain and repair have been successful to date. We continue to search for funding sources to support the viability of this historic treasure.
Friends of the Dredge provides educational and interpretive experiences
at the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area for the benefit of
present and future generations. Partnering with Oregon State Parks, our
goal is to help protect and preserve the outstanding resource which is the
Friends of the Dredge Board of Directors
Board of Directors & Assistant Manager in the Visitor Center
Hearing stories of my grandfather working on the Dredge in the 1940s has inspired me to become involved. Having over 20 years in the world of education combined with my love of all history I value the opportunity to help preserve and promote such a rich piece of Oregon’s heritage.
Board of Directors & Visitor Center Manager
My interest in the preservation of the history of the Dredge stems from the fact that my husbands family plaid an integral role in the running of the Dredge from 1945 to 1954. Since becoming a part of the Board, I have come to realize the vital importance of keeping history alive for young and old to enjoy.
Board of Directors
Having spent my boyhood from 1945 to 1955 in Sumpter Oregon while the Dredge was operational, and my father was the Dredge Master I have a strong familiarity with the intricacies of the Dredge’s actual function. Now retired in Sumpter, I am dedicated to relating these experiences to visitors to this unique part of gold mining history.
Sandra L. Chase
Board of Directors
My Husband spent his summers growing up prospecting and mining Eastern Oregon with his uncle. We moved here in 1996 to do reclamation work for the Forest Service and work Mining small claims. I fell in love with the Dredge and have been privileged to see the Dredge come back to Life. I am dedicated to seeing that the restoration continues.
To date, the Friends have helped fund the restoration of the dredge roof, the
restoration of the floor of the winch room, the paving and signage of the park
entrance, and the re-creation (reclamation?) of the tailings behind the dredge.
As OPRD launches into Phase 1 of the park’s interpretive plan, the Friends are
actively seeking funding to move forward with installing new interpretive panels,
Dredge tour guide brochure, new interpretive center, and many other projects
to help further their mission.
Preserve the Sumpter Valley Dredge
By donating to Friends of the Dredge, you will ensure that enhanced interpretive and educational experiences will continue to be offered at the dredge, such as guided tours, interpretive displays, renovation and staffing of the interpretive center.