Project Description

The Friends of the Sumpter Dredge are an enthusiastic group of individuals dedicated to preserving and restoring the Sumpter Valley Gold Dredge.  They also provide educational and interpretive experiences highlighting the history of the dredge and gold mining in the Sumpter area of the Blue Mountains.

As a non-profit organization, the Friends of the Dredge wanted to both highlight the dredge itself and promote their organization with their new website, now located at www.historicsumpter.com.  In addition, the Friends of the Dredge wanted to feature other recreation opportunities and historic sites throughout the area.

Increasing visits to the The Sumpter Valley Dredge Heritage Area, advancing donor membership to the Friends of the Dredge, and providing visitor information and increasing recreation and tourism to the Sumpter area are all large feats in themselves. With several objectives inherent in the project, the content strategy and wireframes were critical to the success of www.historicsumpter.com.

Fortunately, the Friends were able to provide a wealth of visual and written assets at the beginning of the project.  As a bonafide historical destination, much had already been written about the Sumpter Dredge. In addition, the Friends of the Dredge had done an excellent job preserving and collecting a massive amount of images, including digital copies of the dredge being built in the 1930s!  As I looked through the impressiveness of the content provided to me, I knew that the history of Sumpter was something that had to be shared online.

Now, the only hard part was going to be organizing the content, making it amenable for the web, and gearing it towards historicsumpter.com’s target audience.  Fortunately, the Friends gave me full creative reign over the project, allowing me not only to design the site, but also to write the vast majority of the content.

Through excellent planning and sticking exactly to the core process espoused at MattSheeks.com, The Friends of the Dredge and I were able to create a website that is not only extremely visually pleasing, but is also incredibly functional and informative.

Now all that’s left is to continue promoting the website so that the Sumpter area can get the attention it deserves!

Results:  Despite being a newly launched site, www.historicsumpter.com is already ranking for several high-volume keywords related to Sumpter, Oregon, and it’s attractions.