• Erik.W. Tofsrud

Dredge #4, Bonaza Creek, Yukon


Dredge #4, Bonaza Creek, Yukon

Dredge #4 on Bonanza Creek, the largest wooden hull dredge in the world, typifies this legacy. The dredge moved along in a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel at a rate of 22 buckets per minute. It would operate for 24 hours a day for a season of approx 200 days, April – November, depending on the weather. Though only moving forward a half mile per season, it unearthed nine tons of gold, grossing 8.6 million dollars over 46 years. On its best day, it unearthed over 800 ounces. As well as gold, the dredge recovered everything in its path, including some old cured hams thrown down a shaft in days gone by, prehistoric mammoth ivory, and a set of false teeth.

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