Welcome To The Dutra Museum Of Dredging Website.
website and museum will take you through the Northern California history of the dredging
the integral role it played in reclaiming the California Delta and chronicles
the Dutra family’s involvement.
The task of reclaiming the
marshes of the 700,000 acre
began in the mid-19th century. For the first thirty
effort, thousands of laborers, many Chinese, sweated and strained with
tools and horse drawn scrapers to build the levees. At the same time,
mining in the Gold Country began to fill the watercourse with tailings that
soon made massive flooding a disaster in the Delta.
More than 100,000 acres were reclaimed by hand within this period. Floating
steam shovels began to take over from manual labor around 1875, but were
supplanted quickly by sidedraft clamshell dredges. This type of dredge raised
the total of reclaimed land to more than 400,000 acres by 1920.
More than a dredging museum, it is also a museum depicting life in the Sacramento Delta, which was once the most vibrant transportation corridor in California, carrying passengers and cargo in river-boats between the thriving port city of San Francisco and through the state’s agricultural heart-land to its capitol city in the Central Valley.
This beautiful mural painted by famous local Delta artist Marty Stanley resides at the museum.
Over 100 Years of Service
family’s involvement in sidedraft clamshell dredging began more than a
century ago. Since then, members of the family have been continuously
engaged in this highly specialized branch of dredging science.
Surveying, 1925 Clamshell Bucket, circa 1910 The Alameda at work on the Delta, circa 1955