Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our Visit to the Old West Mining Town of Sumpter, Oregon

Good morning! Welcome to the Homemaking Party. 
Last Friday, we were having a great afternoon. The kids were all doing school nicely and I was puttering, when it occurred to me... I wanted to go to the mountains! So, we did. Two hours one way to our favorite old mining town of Sumpter, Oregon. Sumpter is about 30 minutes up the mountain from Baker City, the town Jamie and I grew up in. Three times a year, they offer the Sumpter Flea Market, featuring vendors from all over the northwest and Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff. I knew Friday afternoon was the calm before the storm of visitors so I figured it would be the best time to take nine children all by myself. Ha! 

On the way through Baker City, I was reminded of the short time I worked at the restored 19th century Geiser Grand Hotel shortly before we were married. It's gorgeous inside, too.

On the way up the mountain, I stopped to get a photo of Phillips Lake, a favorite hang out spot when Jamie and I were in high school and after we were newly married.

Directly across from the last scene is this one: the Elkhorn Mountains.

Once we got to Sumpter, we parked near the site of the Old Sumpter Bank. It was destroyed in a fire in the early 1900s so all that's left is the vault.

This is one of the oldest buildings in Sumpter, thought to have been built when the town was incorporated in 1866. I'm sure it's got a lot of memories bottled up inside---like an Old West T.A.R.D.I.S.!!!

We took a pretty wooded path down to the Dredge site. Last time I toured the Dredge was high school---about 1995. They've done a lot of restoration work on it since and it's a pretty fun educational site now.

Elisha spent some time explaining the mechanics of this giant mining machine. It was pretty cool. 

On the way back to the van, the girls found a couple pretty rocks.

...then, everyone found gold!!
{"Mom! We found gold! Is this REAL GOLD???"}
Of course me, being the homeschool mom, had to tell them they're painted rocks. They know all about Santa, the Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, too. I'm such a party pooper. If it were my mom telling the story, they'd have glorious leprechauns and beautiful mining fairies dancing in their dreams instead... Ahh well...

Jamie and I have always wanted to take the kids to buy something yummy from the food trucks---but it's always so expensive. This day I splurged and spent $40 on corndogs. I'm not even kidding. That was one corndog per person. But they were yummy! We bought a bag of cotton candy too and the lady thought the kids were so sweet that she gave them a second bag for free!

Oh yeah, and we grabbed a bag of kettle corn too, which these two sillies are so proudly displaying.

On the way back down the mountain, we stopped at this bridge to get one more group photo. Cainan (blue t-shirt) once caught a fish here with Daddy when he was about two years old. 

It was a fun day full of special memories. I'm trying to get the kids out of town once a week while we're here. We're actually going back up to this area on Saturday---this time taking Grandma with us. I'll keep you posted!


  1. Wow what a wonderful trip! Love the photos and your children are beautiful! Thanks for the party!

  2. Such a nice trip... especially for making memories. :) Thank you for the party.

  3. Love when bloggers share their travels!

  4. What a lovely trip. You always go to such wonderful places.

  5. Thanks so much for the party!! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!!

  6. A most enjoyable outing with you and family. What part of Oregon I have seen was very pretty. My son lived in Portland a few years and visited family in Eugene. Always a joy to hear from you and learn what the children are doing.

  7. It looks like you all had a great time! I love taking trips with historical content, and always learn so much. Recently we went to a ghost town here in California called Bodie. It was so cool! Thanks for hosting the party.

  8. How fun it must be for you to take your kids to places you and your husband went to "pre-kid". I had to smile at the rocks your girls found. My girls used to collect rocks from every place we went. They are just about to turn 26 and those rocks are still here . . . even though they are NOT! Thanks for hosting the party!

  9. Sarah, I'd love to visit some of these wonderful places you're seeing on your big adventure! Thank you for hosting. I just made the best brownies with my cold-brew coffee concentrate that I linked.

  10. Wow, I have been linking up with you for a while and it was so fun to visit your page today and see pictures of my home state! I'm from the Willamette Valley, but I've been living in Eastern Oregon for the last few years. You are right, the two sides of the state are very different! I'm so glad you enjoyed your family trip.

  11. You're making some wonderful memories for your youngsters my dear. Glad you took the afternoon off to seize the day.


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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