The first settlement in this area was made by Hugh Asbury, John Reel,
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In 1868, a miner by the name of Winters took $40,000 in gold in seven
In 1884, the Transcontinental Railroad reached Baker City.
Then the area began to "boom". The town of Sumpter was platted in 1886,
The real activity was from 1899-1903, with the opening of numerous
There were baseball and basketball teams, a race track, undertaker, several assayers, a brewery, dairy, two cigar factories, an extensive China Town, hospital, sixteen saloons, livery stables and blacksmith shops, five hotels, a clothing store, three general stores, a public school with 200 students, an opera house, two banks, four churches, a telephone system, newspapers and a fire department.
By 1901, Sumpter had grown to more than 30,000 people and 81 businesses.
In 1905 and 1906, the mines began to lose their yield, many shutting down,
Then in 1913, with the Columbia Mine still in operation, the dredging of the
It was Sunday, August 13, 1917.
Thus ended the most successful period Sumpter would ever have to this day.
The No. 2 dredge continued working until 1923, the No. 1 until 1924.
The dredge that rests at the edge of Sumpter today was built by the Sumpter Valley Dredging Company in 1935. During World War II, it ceased operation from 1942-1945. It then operated under various owners until all dredging ceased in 1954.
The dredge recovered more than $4.5 Million in gold during its' operation.
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