Columbia Gorge Aluminum Smelter

85 John Day Dam Road, Goldendale, WA

Aluminum smelter built in 1969


Columbia Gorge Aluminum Smelter

Photo taken by Richard Doody in May 2010



The Goldendale smelter was constructed by the Harvey Aluminum Company in 1969 to take advantage of abundant low cost electrical power which became available with the completion of nearby John Day Dam on the Columbia River. The facility produced its first metal in 1971. At its peak, the smelter employed 700 workers earning $40,000,000 a year and paid $2,000,000 a year in local property taxes. The region entered a prolonged drought in the early 1970s forcing the Bonneville Power Administration to frequently curtail deliveries of power to the plant. The Goldendale smelter was the subject of frequent shutdowns and changes of ownership throughout its existence. The plant was permanently closed in 2003 and demolished in 2010. All that remains today is a small office building and an electrical sub-station.

Update Log 

  • December 23, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • December 23, 2018: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody