After visiting the Yankee Fork dredge, I was really interested to see if I could find an abandoned dredge out in the wild. Were there any left? I started to do some research to see what I could find.
We set out upon a long drive across various mountain ranges and arrived at a large grassy meadow broken up by a few creeks. We were surrounded by rolling hills and open woodland. This didn’t look like the right place for a dredge. Still, my research pointed to a nearby wooded creek. I grabbed my pack and set off for the trees. Before long, I was crashing through the underbrush and trying to avoid swampy wetlands. This was starting to become more than I bargained for. Then, I came around a corner and in a clearing straight ahead, I saw the rusting hulk of an old gold dredge sitting in a pond. Amazing!
From my research, the dredge brought in over 9,100 ounces of gold over a four year period from 1938 to 1942. I hiked around it as much as I could and found the only way in was by climbing on to the stacker (the rear conveyor belt). So, climb up I did. I quickly discovered that all the timber on the vessel had nearly rotted away and would only support a little weight. This made moving around more of a challenge. I stuck to the rusty iron infrastructure as much as I could, as I wasn’t particularly interested in taking a dip in the pond. It was an eerie feeling climbing around in this abandoned dredge. Everything felt decayed and far older than its 1942 date.
Last Updated on October 3, 2020 by Guy Starbuck