(Flickr/Christoph Strässler) Kennecott is an early 20th century copper mining town located in the largest national park in the country, the . There’s a good chance you’ve hard about Kennecott, but if you haven’t, it’s a destination in Alaska that everyone must check out. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Today, Kennecott is a popular tourist attraction and the National Park Service is currently stabilizing and rehabilitating many of the mill and town buildings. The eerie ruins of an isolated abandoned town nicknamed "the Widowmaker" for its deadly gold mine. The glacier was named after Robert Kennicott, a naturalist who explored in Alaska in the mid-1800s. The next hurdle was to transport the copper ore from the mines to the coastal town of Cordova, where it would be shipped to Tacoma, Washington, by the Alaska Steamship Company for smelting. Kennecott was a booming copper mining site located in the Valdez-Cardova Census Area in Alaska, in the US. A chemist named E.T. www.dcranephoto.com, Kennicott Ghost Town, Old stairs to the Concentration Mill, The Upside-Down Forest of Glacier Gardens. Five miles from where the road ends is the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark. Lodging is available at McCarthy and Kennicott. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Popular Alaska Itineraries Using In-State Airlines, Anchorage to Denali National Park Driving Map. High school stu­dents were sent to Cor­dovia or Seat­tle and board­ed with fam­i­ly or friends. He reassembled them on the Copper River, and used them, as well as horses and dog sleds, to bring in equipment and begin mining before the railroad was even finished. The cot­tages on what is now called Silk Stock­ing Row were con­sid­ered very lux­u­ri­ous at the time because they fea­tured indoor plumb­ing. The town Kennicott in Alaska was once flourishing, full of workers who came to the town in search of wealth and work in the mines. Between their hard work and the ingenuity of the founders, Kennecott Copper Corporation produced at least $200 million worth of ore, making it one of the world’s largest mineral companies. Kelly's Saloon in Garnet, Montana, is said to be haunted, with reports of music and laughter coming from the empty building. Well north of Vancouver, and far above Glacier Bay National Park, sits what was once Alaska's - and the world's - most prodigious copper mines. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. Today, Kennicott is a virtual ghost town and along with McCarthy has a year-round population of just a couple of dozen people. No purchase necessary.  ...more, The Ken­necott School House was used to teach first through eigth grade class­es, as well as to hold church ser­vices. 7-10 days is the most common. Containing the McCarthy Road and the towns of McCarthy and Kennecott, this area is where history comes alive. Since the middle of the 1950s the place has been completely deserted. All the Ken­necott bunkhous­es had cook­ing, din­ing, and recre­ation­al facil­i­ties. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, The Ken­necott Train Depot was the ter­mi­nus for the Cop­per Riv­er & North­west­ern Rail­road. The show completed its fourth season in November 2017. You’ll like­ly see fly­ers around town about these events, which are usu­al­ly held for no charge (though they may request dona­tions). The McCarthy Road ends at the footbridge that crosses the Kennicott River, approximately 5 miles from the town of Kennicott.  ...more, The Machine Shop at Ken­necott Mines was used to house large inven­to­ries of spare equip­ment so that any bro­ken machi­nary at the mines or mill could quick­ly be replaced. Find how many days you need based on what you want to see and do in Alaska. May 26, 2020 - From the moment I first saw a photo of the abandoned copper mill in the mining ghost town of Kennecott, while planning our trip to Alaska, I knew it had to go on my Bucket List. All rights reserved. Nationals claim win as Australian government says it won't appeal live cattle export court ruling . Wash­ing and lock­ers were locat­ed on the first floor, and sleep­ing quar­ters were on the upper lev­els. He used dog sleds to haul entire steamships, piece by piece, from Valdez. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. Kennecott became a bustling mining camp filled with miners and their families. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, The major­i­ty of the work­ers in the Ken­necott mines and mill were tem­po­rary. There are numerous adventure services available, such as flight seeing around the Wrangell Mountain Range, rafting, mountaineering, and guided historic and wilderness tours. The road follows the route of the previous CRNW Railroad, starting in the town of Chitina and ending a 1/2 mile before McCarthy. Kennecott or Kennicott (also known as Kennecott Mines) is a former mining camp, now completely abandoned, situated in the Valdez-Cordova Cenzus Area in Alaska, United States of America. Peo­ple from all over the Cop­per Riv­er Val­ley, not just Ken­necott, were treat­ed here. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, The Ken­necott Hos­pi­tal was typ­i­cal­ly staffed by one doc­tor and three nurs­es. The plant once pro­duced enough steam-gen­er­at­ed elec­tric­i­ty to run the mines up in the moun­tains as well as the entire town, includ­ing heat­ing the build­ings and even melt­ing snow off the sidewalks.… Most of these services shut down for the winter. A mine fire has been burning under the deserted town since 1962, but this church is still going strong. The most intimate multi-day cruise option. Here there is parking and campsites available.Across the walking bridge about 3/4 mile away is McCarthy--a now reoccupied ghost town which is historically connected with Kennecott.Rides to the Kennecott millsite, 4 1/2 miles north, are available at McCarthy. Take a guided tour with St. Elias Alpine Guides, a local company that has been granted special permission to take travelers not only around the town, but also inside the buildings. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. In the summer of 1900, prospectors Clarence Warren and Jack Smith were exploring Kennecott Glacier and came across the richest concentration of copper ore ever discovered. Ammo­nia cool­ing and a mechan­i­cal­ly cooled meat lock­er were used to keep meat and oth­er per­ish­ables fresh for the min­ing town. Brad Meiklejohn of the Conservation Fund helped the Park Service acquire the property in June, 1998. The railroad was completed in 1911 and the Kennecott Mines quickly established itself as a model of state-of-the-art technology and progressive management. To get to Kennicott, you must park your car, walk across the bridge with your bags.Coming from Edgerton Highway through Chitina, the pavement ends at the Copper River. It's now a historic landmark preserved by experts, but the eerie vibe remains in this empty mining town. By 1938, all known ore deposits had been depleted. In the bunkhous­es, two to four men shared a room. Old Railway Bridge Leading to Kennicott Ghost Town, Kennicott Ghost Town, Hospital and Workers Quarters, Kennicott Ghost Town, Conveyor leading to the back of the Concentration Mill, Kennicott Ghost Town, Inside the Concentration Mill, Kennicott Ghost Town, View to the Concentration Mill, Bridge into Kennicott. Tramways con­nect­ed the 5 Ken­necott mines to this mill, trans­port­ing up to 1,200 tons of ore every day. 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Almost all the cot­tages are now pri­vate­ly owned. The town and glacier are spelled Kennicott but the mines and company are spelled Kennecott.) Despite all the initial success, the low price of copper during the Great Depression took it’s toll on the Kennecott Mines. At 238 feet above the bottom of a gorge this span is known as the biggest thrill on the road to McCarthy. Carry at least one spare tire and an adequate car jack. Explore Henry Chen's photos on Flickr. www.dcranephoto.com, Two buildings in the former mining town of Kennicott in the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness, Alaska. There was a problem with your submission. Kennecott Mines: An Alaskan Ghost Town In 1900, a pair of prospectors hiking near Alaska’s Kennicott glacier discovered an outcrop of copper ore on a mountainside about 100 miles inland from Valdez. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. Henry Chen has uploaded 2490 photos to Flickr. Soft shoulders have led to numerous accidents and vehicle damage. Today, Kennicott is a ghost town and McCarthy has a year-round population of just a couple of dozen people. As the name sug­gests, it was a five town­house com­plex used to house man­age­ment fam­i­lies and cou­ples. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. This abandoned copper mining camp is a National Historic Landmark District. On McCarthy Road continue to the end at Kennicott River. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. In the 27 years the mine was in full operation, the company made more than $100 million, and a company town grew around the mines. Discover (and save!) Mill workers and miners lived in bunkhouses, worked 7 days a week and sent money home to their families. Portions of the road may be subject to washouts after heavy rains. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. Lat­er on, parts of the bunkhouse were used as a place to bot­tle dairy and as a tem­po­rary den­tist’s office. Feb 6, 2016 - KENNECOTT, ALASKA - Shortly after this time, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist found a sample of ore that analyzed as containing 70% copper as well as silver and traces of gold. Visit September to April to see the Northern Lights, Best Northern Lights Viewing Spots Near Anchorage, How to Travel to Alaska in January and February, The Best Large Family & Group Vacations in Alaska, How to Get from Anchorage to Your Cruise Port in Whittier or Seward (or the reverse!). The Great Kennecott Land Company was formed in 1976 and the town and surrounding land was subdivided and put up for sale to private owners. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. In 1987 it was rebuilt as Ken­necott Glac­i­er Lodge. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, Even though the Ken­necott Cor­po­ra­tion was built on the edge of a glac­i­er, they used the most advanced refrig­er­a­tion tech­nol­o­gy avail­able. The Kennecott Copper Corporation lured workers to this isolated Alaskan mining camp with higher salaries than any mine in the lower 48 offered. Elias National Park, Alaska. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, West Bunkhouse was built in 1917, mak­ing it Ken­necot­t’s third bunkhouse. Source: McCarthy Ken­ni­cott His­tor­i­cal Museum, Today, only ruins remain of Ken­necot­t’s sawmill and car­pen­try shop. And check in at the NPS vis­i­tor cen­ter to see Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. In the Kennicott mines it was not gold that people were digging for, like in so many other places, but copper. Alaska’s most famous ghost town, Kennicott is an old mining village that retains Gold Rush relics, while McCarthy is a sister village, 5 miles away. The green turned out to be malachite, located with chalcocite (aka "copper glance"), and the location of the Bonanza claim. Overwhelmed by choices? See some of the most charismatic creatures that roam Alaska's rugged landscapes alongside an expert bear biologist. And curate stories about the world 's hidden wonders mines were developed and! Ghost tours greatest stories in your Facebook feed Alaska getaways to Wrangell-St. wilderness. 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