Visitors may also hike to the abandoned Bonanza, Jumbo and Erie mines, all of which are strenuous full-day hikes, with Erie Mine being a somewhat terrifying scramble along cliffs overlooking the Stairway Icefall. [2][4], In the summer of 1900, two prospectors, "Tarantula" Jack Smith and Clarence L. Warner,[5] a group of prospectors associated with the McClellan party, spotted "a green patch far above them in an improbable location for a grass-green meadow." Gold was found on Chititu Creek in April 1902 by Frank Kernan and Charles Koppus. In the late 1960s, an attempt was made to reprocess the tailings and to transport the ore in aircraft. Initial ore shipments contained "72 percent copper and 18 oz. The town was founded around 1900 when copper ore was discovered in the area. The town and glacier are spelled Kennicott but the mines and company are spelled Kennecott.) The ammonia-copper solution was heated to drive off the ammonia, which left behind a copper oxide containing 75% copper. In the ghost town of Kennecott, Alaska, visitors have reported vanishing tombstones and hearing long-dead miners' voices. They hired Michael J. Heney, who had previously built the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. Today, in McCarthy, you can wander around to explore the old buildings like the Powerhouse or enjoy time at the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical … Copper ore was discovered in a lode on Chief Nikolai's house at the mouth of Dan Creek in July 1899. In 1986, it became a National Historic Landmark and it is also known as AHRS Site No. This town was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and is an abandoned mining camp that had a number of copper mines operating here. Discovery of copper in this area is what led to the establishment of Kennecott town. 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. Glacier, which is really an ore extension of the Bonanza, was an open-pit mine and was only mined during the summer. 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. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986. These fines were mixed with water, oil, and buffering chemicals, before air was bubbled through the solution. It grew quickly into a major town, with a school, a hospital, a saloon, and a brothel. I visited Gilman, which is a ghost town in Eagle County, Colorado at an elevation of 8,950 feet. It took Heney and his crews 4 years of tireless labor in temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero to build the rail bed and bridges through the regions rough terrain. In Nov. 1906, the Alaska Syndicate bought a 40 percent interest in the Bonanza Mine from the Alaska Copper and Coal Company and a 46.2 percent interest in the railroad plans of John Rosene's Northwestern Commercial Company. 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. The mill was mainly built between 1909 and 1923. Hashima Island, Japan, hit its peak population in 1959, but now it's completely … There are very few haunted places that have as many spirits deterring resettlement as the abandoned ghost towns and railways of the Kennecott … See. 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The highest grades of ore were largely depleted by the early 1930s. At 238 feet above the bottom of a gorge this span is known as the biggest thrill on the road to McCarthy. The greatest concentration of paranormal activity in Alaska has said to be reported in … Though this was not to last as is the case with all of these old mines, and during the mid 1920's the end of the main bulk of the ore was in sight. "x" depicts a copper prospect while "+" depicts a gold placer. Before completion, the steamship Chittyna carried ore to the Abercrombie landing by Miles Glacier. Not easy to get to as the last part of the road involves … www.dcranephoto.com, Kennicott Ghost Town, Old stairs to the Concentration Mill, Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin (Upward Sun River Mouth Child). This was then sacked for shipment. In the summer of 1900, two prospectors, "Tarantula" Jack Smith and Clarence L. Warner, a group of prospectors associated with the McClellan party, spotted "a green patch far above them in an improbable location for a grass-green meadow." The eerie ruins of an isolated abandoned town nicknamed "the Widowmaker" for its deadly gold mine. The Glacier Mine closed in 1929. Kennecott Mines: An Alaskan Ghost Town 7/01/2020. Steven Birch, a min… In the 1980s, Kennecott became a popular tourist destination, as people came to see the old mines and buildings. He confirmed the Bonanza was, at the time, the richest known concentration of copper in the world. Ore arrived at the mill via aerial tramways, where the high-grade portion (60-60% copper) was crushed and placed in a chute to carry it directly to the bottom to be placed in burlap sacks. It is now within the McCarthy CDP. From 1939 until the mid-1950s, Kennecott was deserted except for a family of three who served as the watchmen until about 1952. 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. Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark marker for the mill town, Kennecott-based tour groups now lead visitors on guided tours of the fourteen story concentration mill, Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark mine tramway ore car. The cost of doing so made the idea unprofitable. The geological formations in the area were described and identified by a USGS geologist by the name of Oscar Rohn in 1899. A similar transaction followed with the CR&NW railway and the Alaska Steamship Company. A "clerical error" resulted in the substitution of an "e" for the "i", supposedly by Stephen Birch himself.[6]. If you want to see a really neat ghost town this is for you. See some of the most charismatic creatures that roam Alaska's rugged landscapes alongside an expert bear biologist. When the mine closed in 1938, McCarthy, like Kennicott, became a ghost town. The green turned out to be malachite, located with chalcocite (aka "copper glance"), and the location of the Bonanza claim. ... Another attraction is a tour to the old mines and original mills in this ghost town … On McCarthy Road continue to the end at Kennicott River. The flotation plant was built in 1923 to process the "fines", which were less than 0.3 cm in size. Local guide services offer all of these hikes if one would like some route-finding assistance. Some have since been returned and are held in various archives. Camping is allowed near the end of the road. A number of the buildings from that era are still in use and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Â. On 28 June 1906, he entered into "an amalgamation" with the Daniel Guggenheim and J.P. Morgan & Co., known as the Alaska Syndicate, eventually securing over $30 million. [6]:53–55[7], Stephen Birch, a mining engineer just out of school, was in Alaska looking for investment opportunities in minerals. Ghosts from the old territorial days are all around the last frontier. The Mother Lode mine was located on the east side of the ridge from Kennecott. Still, this ghost town has an interesting and totally spooky history. Residents involved in the tourism industry often lived in nearby McCarthy or on private land in the surrounding area. After copper was discovered in the area in 1900, a group of wealthy investors formed the Kennicott Copper Corporation (named when a clerical worker misspelled Kennicott) to mine the incredibly rich veins in the jagged mountains above the Kennicott and Root Glaciers. Most people spend a minimum of two days exploring the McCarthy/Kennicott area. However, 2 Dec. 1980 saw the establishment of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.[6]:261–262,321. In 1900, the two prospectors Clarence L. Warner and Jack Smith where traveling through Alaska and they noticed a green […] The Erie mine was perched on the northwest end of Bonanza Ridge overlooking Root Glacier about 3.7 mi (6.0 km) up a glacial trail from Kennecott. The area was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and the National Park Service acquired much of the land within the Kennecott Mill Town in 1998. Geologic map of the Kennecott and Bonanza Mine area. The final three, Erie, Jumbo and Bonanza, closed that September. It is situated beside the Kennecott glacier, … All rights reserved. ... A view of the abandoned buildings of Kennecott Mines, inside Alaska's Wrangell–St. Popular tourist activities while visiting Kennecott include glacier hiking, ice climbing, and touring the abandoned mill. The road follows the route of the previous CRNW Railroad, starting in the town of Chitina and ending a 1/2 mile before McCarthy. Since the middle of the 1950s the place has been completely deserted. Kennecott was a booming copper mining site located in the Valdez-Cardova Census Area in Alaska, in the US. Going To This Abandoned Alaska Ghost Town … Boston, Ohio is a ghost town that has been completely shut down to tourists and is actually not one that people are allowed to visit. Kennecott is now accessible by air (McCarthy has a 3,500 foot (1,100 m) meter gravel runway) or by driving on the Edgerton Highway to the McCarthy Road, an unimproved gravel road. Kennecott, Alaska is a ghost town frozen in time. Topographic map showing the location of the Erie, Jumbo, Mother Lode, Bonanza and Glacier Mines in relation to Kennecott. He had the financial backing of the Havemeyer Family, and another investor named James Ralph, from his days in New York. Carry at least one spare tire and an adequate car jack. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). A few days later, Arthur Coe Spencer, U.S. Geological Survey geologist independently found chalcocite at the same location. Reservations are recommended. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. However, the town of Kennecott was never repopulated. Alaska News Amid the ruins of the Kennecott mine, a quiet new look at Alaska’s past . In 1911 the first shipment of ore by train transpired. Malachite, azurite, and other forms of copper within the limestone needed separation in the 14-story mill building before shipment. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. The first section of Kennecott mines to close was the Glacier Mine which shut in 1929. The last train left Kennecott on November 10, 1938, leaving it a ghost town. Copper extraction was a many step process in an attempt to be as efficient as possible. Jerome, Arizona. This abandoned nitrate town was repurposed as a dictator's prison. of silver per ton."[6]:135[7]:44,66–67. In 1925 a Kennecott geologist predicted that the end of the high-grade ore bodies was in sight. U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, List of National Historic Landmarks in Alaska, National Register of Historic Places listings in Wrangell–St. Kennecott, Alaska A one-time copper mining town, Kennecott is set against the dramatic backdrop of snow-capped mountains in Wrangell- St. Elias National Park and Reserve. The tailings left over after gravity separation were further treated via ammonia leaching, for the coarse material, or via froth flotation for the fine material. Also pictured - foreground (left to right): power plant, machine shop, flotation plant, ammonia leaching plant (world's first); in the trees to the right - general manager's office (log cabin portion was first building built in Kennicott). The ammonia leaching plant was built in 1915, where ammonia liquefied the copper but kept the limestone in solid form. Today, both are laid-back towns that offer history, scenery, and a taste of old Alaska. If you’re looking to venture out to see the old ghost mines, getting out to the abandoned track will not be easy, as most any other place in Alaska. The camp and mines are now a National Historic Landmark District administered by the National Park Service. That's certainly the case with Kennecott Mine and Ghost Town in Alaska. Native copper can also be found in the greenstone.[5]:77. 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. This off-the-beaten-path abandoned town is a relic of Montana's silver mining boom. Bonanza and Jumbo were on Bonanza Ridge about 3 mi (4.8 km) from Kennecott. The mining village of Kennecott was built on the side of the Kennicott Glacier in the early 20th century. Today, Kennicott is a ghost town and McCarthy has a year-round population of just a couple of dozen people. There are no sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Kusilvak Census Area. The denser ore was separated from the less dense waste via Hancock jigs and shaker tables. After copper was discovered in the area in 1900, a group of wealthy investors formed the Kennecott Copper Corporation (named when a clerical worker misspelled Kennicott) to mine the incredibly rich veins in the … Kennecott had five mines: Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode, Erie and Glacier. Abandoned in 1938 the Kennecott Mines are now a National Historic Landmark with it's abundance of historic buildings. You’ll find: Massive old mining buildings that look out over a glacier-carved valley. For the mine in Utah, see, The 14-storey Kennicott Concentration Mill (to the right), the mines are 5 miles up in the mountains to the east/northeast. Around the same time, the company with land rights ordered the destruction of the town to rid them of liability for potential accidents. KCC sent a field party under the geologist Les Moon in 1955. Almost simultaneously, another USGS geologist named Arthur Spencer, came across the ore when mapping the area with Frank Schrader. [3] It is located beside the Kennicott Glacier, northeast of Valdez, inside Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Kennecott first reported on the 1920 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. Gorgeous cave resemble a winter wonderland. Minerals include chalcocite, bornite and chalcopyrite, with associated malachite, azurite and cuprite. The site was center of activity of 5 copper mines. The old mining town of Kennicott in the US state of Alaska is located on the south slopes of Wrangell mountain close to the Kennicott Glacier, about five miles up from the small town of McCarthy. The Bonanza ore body was discovered in Aug. 1900 by Warner and Smith. The green turned out to be malachite, located with chalcocite (aka "copper glance"), and the location of the Bonanza claim. Copper ore attached to the air bubbles, and floated to the top, where it was skimmed off, dried and sacked. From 1909 until 1938, except when it closed temporarily in 1932, Kennecott mines "produced over 4.6 million tons of ore that contained 1.183 billion pounds of copper mainly from three ore bodies: Bonanza, Jumbo and Mother Lode. www.dcranephoto.com, Two buildings in the former mining town of Kennicott in the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness, Alaska. [6]:57,71–73, Political battles over the mining and subsequent railroad were fought in the office of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt between conservationists and those having a financial interest in the copper. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. 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. It's now a historic landmark preserved by experts, but the eerie vibe remains in this empty mining town. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. By the 1930’s, most of the ore was gone, and Kennicott and McCarthy became ghost towns. Map of the Chitina River valley. Chalcocite and covellite were sent directly to the smelting plant in Tacoma. Though not really close, the nearest town of McCarthy had, in 2010, 28 residents. [6]:75,212–213, Kennecott Mines was named after the Kennicott Glacier in the valley below. In the summer of 1901, he visited the property and "spent months mapping and sampling." A recommendation to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 18 Jan. 1940 for the establishment of the Kennecott National Monument went nowhere. [5]:12,75–77[6]:53–55, Besides placer deposits, copper is found as polymetallic replacement deposits in the fault planes, fractures and joints of the Triassic Nikolai greenstone, which consists of basaltic lava flows, and in the base of the Upper Triassic Chitistone limestone. The mining town of Kennecott, Alaska was abandoned in 1938. In 1901, the Dan Creek was staked by C.L. Warner and "Dan" L. Kain. There are numerous adventure services available, such as flight seeing around the Wrangell Mountain Range, rafting, mountaineering, and guided historic and wilderness tours. Use code WONDER20 for 20% off all online experiences! Ore was hoisted to Kennecott via the trams which head-ended at Bonanza and Jumbo. 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. [8], In 1938, Ernest Gruening proposed Kennecott be preserved as a National Park. It … Simultaneously, placer gold was discovered on the Dan and Young Creeks. They agreed with the 1938 conclusion, "no copper resource of a size and grade sufficient to interest KCC remained." From McCarthy, it is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to Kennecott, and shuttles are available. Birch was the managing partner for the Alaska operation. The Mother Lode was next, closing at the end of July 1938. The McCarthy Road ends at the footbridge that crosses the Kennicott River, approximately 5 miles from the town of Kennicott. Elias National Park and Preserve. A few days later, Arthur Coe Spencer, U.S. Geolo… This original copper find became the basis of the Nikolai Mine in 1900. Portions of the road may be subject to washouts after heavy rains. This haunting place was booming until the 1940's when the price of copper dropped it became a ghost town. Kennecott, also known as Kennicott and Kennecott Mines, is an abandoned mining camp in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska that was the center of activity for several copper mines. Elias National Park and Preserve, National Register of Historic Places listings in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Kennecott Mines", Kennecott Copper Corporation, West Bunkhouse, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Concentration Mill, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Leaching Plant, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Machine Shop, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Company Store & Warehouse, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Recreation Hall, Kennecott Copper Corporation, Old School Building, Kennecott Copper Corporation, New School Building, Kennecott Copper Corporation, NPS Interpretation Building, National Trust for Historic Preservation article and photo essay the old Kennecott mill town, Wrangell–St. Kennecott is an abandoned mine in Alaska that was founded in 1911 and then abandoned … An auroral research program that superheats the ionosphere. But this abandoned Kennicott Copper Mine in McCarthy is said to be so haunted that they even offer Ghost Town Walking Tours to visitors from all over the world. The geologist Oscar Rohn named the glacier after Robert Kennicott during the 1899 US Army Abercrombie Survey. [6]:35,55–56,59,73, By 1905, Birch had successfully defended the legal challenges to his property and he began the search for capital to develop the area. However, their stories of discovery, perseverance, and ingenuity live on! Lodging is available at McCarthy and Kennicott. Unlike Kennicott, however, McCarthy has always had a few hardy souls who have made it their home. XMC-001. When the Kennecott Copper Corporation abruptly abandoned the town in 1938 they left behind their equipment, their buildings, and their personal belongings. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. The mill remains however.[6]:7. Continue across the bridge to the gravel "McCarthy Road". The Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode and Erie mines were connected by tunnels. The town around the mine built up quickly and life here never seemed better. 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 capital was to be used for constructing a railway, a steamship line, and development of the mines. It appeared again in 1930 and 1940, and after its abandonment, it has not reported separately since. Today, Kennicott is a virtual ghost town and along with McCarthy has a year-round population of just a couple of dozen people. Located deep in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, what remains of the towns offers visitors a taste of Alaska’s historic mining era. Soft shoulders have led to numerous accidents and vehicle damage. By the late 1920s, the supply of high-grade ore was diminishing, and Kennecott Copper Corporation was diversifying into other North American and Chilean mines. From McCarthy, it is 4.5 miles to Kennicott. Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark marker for the geologic outcrop, Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark marker for the ore body, Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark marker for the mine shafts. [6]:88[7]:42, The Alaska Syndicate's traded its Wrangell Mountains Mines assets for shares in the Kennecott Copper Corporation, a "new public company" formed on 29 April 1915. 2Wd use -- trailors not recommended ) 58 miles east to the of! J. Heney, who had previously built the White Pass & Yukon Railroad resource of a size and grade to... Consent, please visit our cookie policy a lot of life, but the job never! Valley below and are held in various archives were sent directly to the air bubbles, and touring the buildings! 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And grade sufficient to interest kcc remained. interesting and totally spooky history ]:75,212–213, Kennecott became a town. Private land in the town was abandoned since the middle of the Erie, Jumbo, Lode.

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