SUMPTER

NAME: Sumpter
COUNTY: Baker
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 3
CLIMATE: Winter:cold&snow. Summer:dry, warm to hot
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Anytime.
COMMENTS: Near Auburn, can see both on the same day. UPDATE:Sumpter, OR is seeing a revival. I visited Sumpter last Labor Day weekend (98) and found the town to be full of people visiting from all over the Northwest. Sumpter has restored one of the dredges and it is open for visitors on Labor Day week-end and the 4th of July week-end. So the town is
having a country-fair feeling on those two week-ends, with vendors and tourists all over. Sumpter has a nice little museum that shows life in Sumpter and also nearby Bourne during the gold rush. Well worth visiting. Bjorn Bakke.The dredge is Oregon's newest interpretive state park. The Sumpter Valley gold dredge is a heritage state park. It is open 7 days a week, from April-November. The Sumpter Valley Railroad is a narrow gauge steam train which operates from May -October on week-ends and holidays. Sumpter has 3 flea markets a year with vendors and visitors galore (Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekend).
REMAINS: Not much left. UPDATE: Visited 3-26-14Many buildings and houses still standing. Many are being refurbished with some new buildings and houses. Dredge is being restored and looks better than pictures here. Train depot has been restored and the Sumpter Railroad runs scenic tours in summer. Dredge State park and the train depot are closed in the winter and the town basically shuts down in the winter. There are new cabins that are open in summer and the motel is open year round. Jason Culp

Because spelling wasn’t too important in those days, no one seemed to notice that Fort Sumter was spelled without a “P”. The site was established by settlers in 1862 who were farmers and intended to use the land to farm crops. They were overrun by prospectors and miners when gold was discovered and the population zoomed to 3,000. Sumpter flourished for a number of years as new lodes were found and mining operations improved. Dredging operations were employed and continued until the surrounding land including the riverbed and its banks were in ruins. Sumpter could have been a prosperous farming community but not now. Somewhere along the line, the word “Fort” was dropped but the “P” remains. The town has declined since 1916 but some newer buildings have been added among those of yesteryear. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenowith

Sumpter is a historic mining town nestled in Oregon's Blue Mountains at 4,424ft. elevation. Sumpter was never a farming community. Logging and mining were the two primary industries. Tourism and recreation are our present economic base,i.e., hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ghosttowning, boating, mining, etc. The town has several historic preservation projects underway. There are a number of original homes and historic buildings. The spelling of Sumpter has always been a curiosity. It was named after Fort Sumter , So. Carolina, in 1862, and spelled the same as the fort. The spelling was changed in 1883 to satisfy the U.S. Post Office because of another town with the same spelling. Sumpter currently has a population of 175. It is probably considered to be a tourist ghost town, but on a very small scale. Sumpter is a worthwhile sight for visitng. Submitted by Steven Rich.

http://www.sumpteroregon.com/

Photo essay on Sumpter, Oregon
"Sumptin' Sumpter"
www.efn.org/~hkrieger/sumpter.htm

Herman Krieger


Sumpter
Courtesy Akio Ohki


Sumpter Dredge
Courtesy Garwood Jorgenson


Sumpter Dredge
Courtesy Garwood Jorgenson

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