View Full Version : Dredge #4 in the Klondike Valley.

09-10-2007, 10:55 PM
So after the mud bogs(yeah the pics are late!!) we went up Bonanza Creek, which was the reason almost 100,000 people left to find gold in the gold rush of 1897-1899(which only around 10,000 got to Dawson City). Many years later a number of dredges were built to go through the creeks again and collect more gold that the miners failed to pan out from the pay dirt. This dredge was the largest in the world and was built by the Marion Steamshovel Company(with the large Fir timbers comming from Vancouver Island!!); running on electricity, this pig dug it's own ponds as it worked up the creeks untill around 1960, when it was not profitable to run it any more. It sat untill a few years ago, listing very badly and full of ice; untill fire departments and U.S. Army Engineers re-floated it and moved it to dry ground where folks can take tours. Here are some pics of the 7 story high floating beast.......

The main winch room(Pfffft to your sissy 9000 pound Warn).

Driven by an electic motor, these water pumps(4 of em) pumped water to the sluice drum to wash the gold out to the collection area.

Is that a Black and Decker drill press?!! This was still operational if it had a power source(belt driven).

One of the winches that steered the dredge left and right. The cable was attached to the shore and was one of 2 on each front corner.

Got bugs? These little pricks flew into your eyes for the moisture, nothing else. Here are about a thousand or so of em. Note the pond in the background were the dredge sat flooded for many years before being moved.
These are the spuds at the back of the dredge. These allowed the beast to pivot left and right as well as they controlled the dredges rate of forward movement.

This is one of 2 motors and gears that moved the boom up and down. Like a big chainsaw bar, it had buckets on it(in a chain) that allowed the dredge to dig 56 ft below ground and up to 17ft above ground.

This is the boom that had the chain of buckets on it. This pics is on the 7th floor controll room where all the action could be seen.

Back of the electrical board....Stave Powerhouse anyone?

Those are the buckets that ran around the boom like a chain on a chain saw bar, only a hell of a lot bigger!! This used to be all under water.

The control room. Looking at the power controls at back wall and clutch/brake control levers in the forground. Note the heater up front!!

This is where all the money is!! This is the sluice drum, about the size of 4 Jeeps; this produced enough gold in a day to hire someone to fix 4 Jeeps!!:D

Found this hole that ya could JUST sqeeze into....and fall down 7 floors!! This is the spud shafts.

Watch yur head dude!! Rust art.

The inside if the sluice drum, with some metal stuff inside of it(not gold!!).

From the drum, the water got caught on mats along these troughs; which got cleaned every few days.

This is the winch(from the first pic) that controlled the spuds. One of the spuds were still up, and cuz it;s so frikin cold up in Dawson, the ice(almost 8ft of frozen water inside)preserved things to the point that the resto guys greased this winch and released the spud to the down position!!

The arss of the beast. All the tailings left the dreadge via the back conveyer belt, leaving huge piles behind for miles called "worm casings". Note the water marks on the side of the dredge when it sank in it's pond.

Front of the dredge. Note the boom out front.

The beast full of tourists(kinda like gold, no?). First on the Klondike River, it sifted through and recovered enough gold to pay for itself in 3 months before being DISMANTLED and put back together on Bonanza Creek where it worked it's way up at a mile per YEAR!!

09-10-2007, 11:03 PM
Wow great history lesson. Good read and great pics. It's amazing that that thing floated....a mile a year[16] [16]

09-10-2007, 11:17 PM
wow :eek:

09-10-2007, 11:54 PM
fabulous story and pictures.... thanks so much!

09-11-2007, 09:14 AM
Very interesting!! Thanks for posting the pictures and stories [cheers]

09-11-2007, 12:22 PM
WOW thats cool!!!

09-11-2007, 12:58 PM
awesome pics[36] ....I found the remnants of a much smaller one in Granite City just out side of Coalmont

09-11-2007, 04:49 PM
seen that on wings over canada when it was still sunk ,pretty cool shit

09-11-2007, 04:58 PM
Very cool!

09-11-2007, 10:37 PM
That thing's awesome! Thanks for the story! [36] Gotta send it to a couple of buddies to see.

09-11-2007, 11:07 PM
Cool stuff !

09-11-2007, 11:25 PM
Cool history lesson. and what an incredible machine back in those days

09-11-2007, 11:56 PM
pretty cool, i like the house style windows

09-12-2007, 06:42 AM
[cheers] Great stuff thanks![cheers]

09-12-2007, 08:14 AM
wow thanks for the pics and the history lesson

09-12-2007, 08:56 AM
wow thats cool!