The famed Snowstorm dredge near Fairplay Colorado is the largest dredge ever used in Colorado and was in operation until the mid 1960's. It now rests in it's final pond in the middle of a sand and gravel operation.
(photo from colorado preservation inc)
The Park County Heritage Resources Center and Colorado Preservation inc are working to preserve or even move the dredge in order to avoid it being dismantled or lost, but efforts so far are sketchy at best.
According to Linda Balough of the Park County Heritage Resources Center, the status and future of the Snowstorm Dredge is unkown at this time.
After discussions with Linda I believe that the site surrounding the Snowstorm Dredge be acquired and preserved for future generations.
Linda dreams of a large park with the Snowstorm right in the middle, where people from all over the world can learn about the history of mining and even pan or sluice for gold themselves while there. Tours of the dredge and a visitor center could draw thousands each year to Park County.
The city of Fairplay already embraces and celebrates the recreational gold prospector by being the first city in the state to open a public owned gold panning area. "The Beach" as it is called has been a very successful example of what such a park can be.
However the town of Fairplay, Park County and a host of other groups and individuals have not been able to raise the funds to obtain and move the dredge... so she sits and rots away, waiting.
Gold Unlimited will be offering assistance to Park County and those involved in saving the Snowstorm Dredge as we work to have up to 5 historic sites in our state designated state gold panning parks open to the public for generations to come.
UPDATE: 5/1/2012 We are in ongoing discussions with the owners of the site and the snowstorm dredge to make a serious attempt to acquire this historic relic.