About Friends of the DredgeHelping Preserve and Restore the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge
How We Got Started
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
Provide Educational and Interpretive Experiences
Partner With Oregon State Parks in Preserving the Dredge
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 & Visitor Center Manager
The Dredge has an amazing story to tell! It will begin speaking the second you pull into the town of Sumpter, standing as a gate keeper between future guests and Oregon’s rich pioneer spirit! My role at the dredge allows me to help connect the rough, exciting and innovative gold mining past to each and every guest in someway. Nothing is more exciting then when you see history for yourself…Watching my family enjoy the park and become passionate about the conservation of the dredge coupled with my love for history makes all my guest experiences the best ones ever!
Melissa FindleyBoard of Directors & Visitor Center Manager
My interest in the preservation of the history of the Dredge stems from the fact that my husbands family played 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.
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.
Robert ArmbrusterBoard 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.
Gerald HowardBoard of Directors
As a longtime resident in Baker County and Sumpter Valley, I experienced my childhood years when the dredge was operating from 1945 to 1954. My father was the head Winchman (piloted the dredge) and I personally witnessed pulling levers as he controlled the dredge operation.
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.