The Dutra Museum of Dredging is a private collection of materials representing the history of sidedraft clamshell dredging in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the role the Dutra family and Dutra companies have played in building the Delta infrastructure.
The collection, unique in its scope and size, spans the century that has elapsed since the introduction of steam-powered dredging equipment to the California Delta.
The museum is housed in a century-old craftsman style mansion located in Rio Vista, California. Some of the museum’s contents include photographs, log books, ledgers, dredge models, original engineer drawings on linen and a mural tracing the Dutra family’s history beginning Portuguese whalers. Noted artist and family friend Marty Stanley painted the mural. The collection was established as a museum in 1982 and is currently owned by The Dutra Museum Foundation.
Vintage photographs and historic information from the museum collection have been featured in various publications such as The California Delta, by Carol Jensen, Bay Area Backroads, by Jerry Graham, and by such organizations as the University of California, Berkeley’s Water Resource Archives Department.
The Tule Breakers, co-written by Edward Dutra, documents the evolution of the California dredge and its construction, operation and achievement of California’s great Central Valley and in the San Francisco Bay.
The Dutra Museum Foundation is dedicated to educating and promoting an understanding of the history of dredging, the value of developing and reclaiming the California Delta and the significant role The Dutra Group and the Dutra family has played within this field. Our goal is to raise and manage funds to expand, preserve, exhibit and interpret its collection for school children, public interest groups and for scholarly research.
The Foundation’s commitment to the community includes the annual funding of higher education scholarships for the Rio Vista High School, Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society and beyond.
Press Release, February 22, 2013