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Mining For Gold In The Rogue River Valley

Panning For Gold

When someone says “Gold Rush,” what location pops into mind?

Most people say “California” or maybe “the Yukon.”

But Oregon had a healthy gold rush, too. In 1851 the Rollins family were on their way to the California gold rush when Indians pointed them to gold in the Rogue River Valley. Since that time, miners have extracted more than a billion dollars worth of gold from Southwest Oregon.

Although mining dropped off at the beginning of World War II, the people at Oregon’s Department of Geology and Mineral Industries say there’s still a lot more gold out there.

Kerby Jackson makes his living mining gold along the Rogue River. He knows a lot about mining today and mining 150 years ago. He still uses a gold pan, but also uses modern equipment like suction dredges, power sluices and ground penetrating radar.

To learn more about how mining dramatically changed life in the Rogue River Valley, tune in to “River of the Rogues,” a new Oregon Field Guide special, on Thursday, February 7 at 8:30 p.m.



  • Gold Hill Museum’s collection of mining equipment
  • 504 First Avenue, Gold Hill, OR 97525
  • Hours: Noon - 4 p.m., Thursday - Saturday
Gold Mining Rogue River Oregon Gold Rush

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