October 2, 2013

Dredge “Frances” to be Retired and Moved

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 9:40 am

GLENBURN – The PG&E dredge “Frances,” (shown in the photo above by Walt Caldwell) in service on the Tule River and McArthur Lake since it was christened by Mrs. Clarence Simpkins of Burney in 1963 is about to retire.
In addition to routinely cleaning the banks of the Tule it was used to repair the levee break on McArthur Lake in 1965, scouring to a depth of 25 feet to fix the breach.
It was operated by Dutra Dredging Company personnel during the repair of that breach and often by PG&E employees. It was originally built by Dutra and its equipment taken from another dredge “Edward.”
It was originally owned by Antone S. Dutra, father of Edward Dutra, the builder of “Frances.”
It is all steel welded construction with a hull of 32’ x 70’ and had a 1 1/2 yard bucket which was used to propel the dredge. The bucket would be swung out and lowered and grab the river or lake bed. The cable would be wenched forward, pulling the dredge. The bucket was then raised and swung out again to move it forward again.
Information is that the dredge which has been berthed at the edge of the river and McArthur Road, will be disassembled and moved to a retirement home at a museum in the vicinity of where it was built sometime in the near future.

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