The collection consists of a report from H.R. Edwards, Chief Engineer of Hammon Engineering Company to W.P. Hammon, managing
director of the Yuba Consolidated Gold Fields. Included in the report are sections on railroad possibilities and an irrigation
scheme. Appendices include a history and appraisal of the debris situation, a geologist's report, a report on hydraulic development,
and a copy of the Caminetti Act.
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.