Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 51

Thread: In Search of History and Adventure - SE Oregon. Abandoned Mines, Ranches, Ect

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default In Search of History and Adventure - SE Oregon. Abandoned Mines, Ranches, Ect

    Every summer a group of friends and I travel by dirt bike into the desert looking for adventure. Here are some pictures of last summers 1100 mile Adventure Ride taken from my Ride Report.


    Just outside of Granite OR we came across the old Fremont Powerhouse. The powerhouse was built in 1908 to provide electricity to nearby mines and towns. It was in operation until 1967 when it was closed and donated to the United States Forest Service. You can still stop by the powerhouse and a volunteer will give you a tour of the facility. You can see the red handle at the base of the building, that is the main water shutoff valve coming into the power plant.




    This is a section of the original wooden pipe that carried water from a lake above the powerhouse down to the powerhouse. The pipeline was 8 miles long and by the time it reached the powerhouse there was 500psi of water pressure available to the water wheels. Impressive for a wooden pipe! Someone would walk the pipe every day repairing any leaks that needed fixed.




    Inside the Powerhouse. There are two 1906 Pelton Water Wheels that drive two generators. Each generator is rated at 500KW.




    The control panel. Lacking modern insulating materials the control panel was made from imported Italian Marble (which is a perfect insulator). The original gauges and switching gear is still installed in the panel. Very cool.



    Continued Below

    Hodakaguy
    Last edited by Hodakaguy; 04-10-2010 at 03:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    A shot of the generator unit. You can see some batteries on boards in the background, there used to be a whole bank of them there. They would use the batteries to spin the electric motor connected to the generator. The electric motor would spin up the generator and get a field created before they brought in the water to take over for the electric motor. The Pelton Water wheel that drives the generator is on the left, notice the dents in the top of the cover from rocks making it into the water wheel.




    Here's a shot of the battery bank with a few of the original batteries left.




    Inside the Pelton Water Wheel. There is a nozzle that directs water into the paddles and a manual valve that the operator uses to control volume of water entering the wheel. Each generator has a mechanical governor that regulates speed to the generator (I assume this is how they kept 60 cycles constant).





    One final shot of the powerhouse. You can see the company houses in the background (there were a couple more out of the picture behind the powerhouse). You can rent these houses to stay in for the night, I think he said they were $80 a night and they have running water. Pretty cool.




    Continued below...

    Hodakaguy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above....

    The Sumpter Gold Dredge. This dredge is quite the machine. It served for years eating up the valley floor looking for gold. When they finished with the dredge they just left it where it stopped, which is where you see it today. This is one of three dredges that ate up the Sumpter Valley and the only one left today. They have preserved the dredge in its original condition.




    Here's a picture that shows the overall operation of the dredge, and here's some info that went along with the picture:

    "A dredge is basically a giant shovel mounted on the deck of a boat. Instead of one bucket, this dredge had 72, each weighing one ton. The assembly of buckets is called the digging ladder.

    This Dredge was built on dry land (for about $300,000) and launched like a boat into a hand-dug pit filled with water. The digging ladder could scoop out 25 buckets per minute of earth, rock and minerals as the dredge chewed it's way forward, floating on the pond it created. The excavated material was transported up the ladder and dumped into a series of screens inside the dredge.

    Massive amounts of electricity were needed to operate a dredge. Long before any of the surrounding farms got electricity, a 12 mile, 23,000 volt line was strung to the dredge overland from a hydroelectric power plant.

    Everything larger than 3/4" emptied out the back of the dredge. The 96' "stacker" to the rear of the dredge was like a conveyor belt, carrying out the largest rocks and creating the "tailings" you see.

    This Dredge took 19 years to chew up thousands of acres of land and extracted about 9 tons of gold (about one cubic yard)."


    When you enter the valley you can see the tailing piles everywhere where the dredge had chewed up the valley. Go to Google earth and type in Sumpter OR and you can see the path the Dredge worked.




    Here Craig stands next to one of the 2000lb buckets. This dredge is HUGE!




    Entering the dredge. This is the winch system that was used to pull the dredge forward and turn it left and right.




    continued below...

    Hodakaguy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    Here is the drive belt to the winch that raises and lowers the bucket ladder. I don't think this dredge would pass OSHA standards today




    Front shot of the dredge.




    Good side view of the Dredge.




    Here's a short video tour I made of the dredge.




    Continued below...

    Hodakaguy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    We decided to check out a few mines. On the way up to the first mine we come across the old miners cabin. It's in worse shape than the last time I was up here. It's now missing a couple walls. We all stop to check it out.




    Checkin it out. I'm always fascinated on how people built these structures and how they lived out here. It's now the haunta virus hotel.




    Other side of the cabin.




    A couple hundred feet from the cabin is whats left of a smelting furnace. The mine is located directly above this furnace further up on the hill side.




    Continued below...

    Hodakaguy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    A little further up the mine and you come to the first mine. Great view of the Alvord Playa in the background.




    The first mine, locals have told me that this was a cinnabar mine. They would mine Cinnabar and then smelter it to get mercury. The TOPO maps show the name of this mine as the Western Quartz Mine....Hmmmmm. Apparently two brothers ran this mine and lived in the cabin down below.

    The main audit at the bottom of the mine is caved, last time I was here you could almost squeeze into a corner of the audit...now it's completely covered from land slides.

    There is a steel cable left of the audit that runs from the top of this mine down to where the mine audit used to be (It may have went further down the hill to the smelter at the cabin, I'm not sure), at one time it was a aerial tram but now the cable just lays on the ground (You can still see the remains of the tram tower). The cable makes an excellent climbing aid now. Next to the cable is a set of wooden narrow train tracks that run up the steep hill, at the top of the tracks an old vehicle wheel is mounted as a pulley. It looks like they would haul ore up out of a vertical shaft above the audit then place the ore in a ore cart on the tracks or a bucket in the aerial tram. I would love to see some pictures of this mine when it was in operation, it must have been a hard life out here.

    There is a small home made ore cart in the hole thats about 15 feet off the ground.




    Here's a picture of the home made ore cart. It's made from a old wagon and has two bars that can be used as hand holds. It's now embedded into the rock from land slides.




    Perry and Brent ascending the hill over the mine.




    continued below...

    Hodakaguy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    Here's part of the tram cart assy thats still laying on the hill side under the cable. You can see the two pulleys that rode on the cable, I'm not sure what kind of bucket they had attached to it.




    Close to the top. On the very right side/middle of the picture you can see the miners cabin, further down the hill and on the right you can see the green trees in the canyon, thats where the orchard is and where Clair is camped.




    Here's the pulley assy located over the top of the wooden rail lines....no it doesn't turn, I tried.




    The wooden rail lines. I'd like to see the cart assy they used on these tracks.




    continued below..

    Hodakaguy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Eastern WA State
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Continued from above...

    Here I'm posing for a picture at the upper shaft. Nice view of the Alvord in the background.




    Brent standing next to the shaft. You can just see the lifting arm in the left side of the picture. It's a wooden beam that can pivot on the bottom. It's supported by three cables and has a pulley out on an arm, the assy was used to lift ore buckets out of the shaft. The last time I was here it was still standing, it's almost collapsed now.





    Inside the upper shaft. You can see a home brew ladder down in the hole. Can you say dry rot.




    To be continued...Lots more to come!!!

    Hodakaguy

  9. #9
    campp's Avatar
    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    614

    Default

    Nice pics and great subject! Welcome to the board, we're ready for more...

  10. #10
    Darin's Avatar
    Darin is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tacoma, WA.
    Posts
    1,051

    Default

    Definately...welcome to the forum. I must say, that video of the dredge was fascinating, as well as your pics and it looks like you all had a really superb time. Great job on posting them...and again, welcome to the forum!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone Ever Go Into Abandoned Mines?
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 114
    Last Post: 09-26-2013, 07:16 AM
  2. AZ's solution to abandoned mines
    By Ron B. in forum Other
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-21-2009, 03:04 PM
  3. So Cal GTs and abandoned mines
    By LauraA in forum Current Status of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-04-2007, 05:24 PM
  4. towns and mines (abandoned) of so.&cntrl. ca.
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-09-2006, 07:35 AM
  5. Washington, Oregon Ghost town search
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum Directions and Locations of Ghost Towns
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-15-2002, 12:02 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •