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Alaska

Historic Mining Towns

Alaska has always attracted fortune-seekers and frontiersmen, as it did a century ago when thousands of prospectors stampeded north to Alaska in search of their fortunes. These adventurous pioneers left a trail of history in the form of abandoned mining towns, trails and larger-than-life legends.

In just one year, 1897-98, over 60,000 adventurers made their way north to the rich gold fields of the Klondike. Today you can hike the famous Chilkoot trail, or visit the towns of Skagway or Dawson City and travel back in time. The Klondike was not the only gold strike luring fortune seekers north. Juneau, Nome, Fairbanks, Sitka and many other communities have remnants of a gold mining past. Panning for gold is a popular activity when visiting these communities

The vast resources of Alaska have lured entrepreneurs to Alaska for its deposits of minerals and ores. Early in the century one of the world’s largest copper discoveries was made along the Chitina River in what is now Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Now the largest ghost town in the world, Kennecott was once home to over 500 workers and their families. When the mine closed in 1938, everyone walked away, leaving behind a large-scale mining operation and dozens of supporting buildings and homes.

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Historic Kennecott-Mine is a landmark in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Historic Kennecott-Mine is a landmark in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

   
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Source: Alaska TIA; magazineUSA.com & magazinUSA.com
Last modified: 20070909
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