This collection includes photographs, photo albums, negatives, and blueprints pertaining to the operations of Wendall P. Hammon,
Yuba Construction Company and Yuba Consolidated Gold Fields. Photographs, albums, negatives and blueprints relate to the dredging,
manufacturing, and mining activities of the Hammon enterprises.
Gold dredging in California began in 1850 when a small river boat was fitted out as a dredge and gravel mining was attempted
above Marysville, California on the Yuba River. The first successful gold dredge in California was built in 1898 by Biggs,
Butte County resident Wendell P. Hammon, the "Dredger King," and his partner, Thomas Couch, a Montana mining businessman.
This first model and those that followed consisted of a floating hull, a digging ladder, an endless chain of buckets, screening
apparatus, gold-saving devices, pumps, and a stacker. The California dredge was developed from models used earlier in New
Zealand and in Montana, proving to be much more efficient than earlier one-bucket attempts.