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Sat Jan 11, 2020, 09:22 AM

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. Soon, several mines were developed, and a small base camp grew into a mill town dominated by enormous processing buildings. Kennecott Mines (yes, the town name is spelled differently from the glacier’s) operated for nearly 30 years, until the ore was depleted and the remote town was abandoned in 1938. Kennecott’s massive structures sat deserted for decades, until the Alaskan tourism market developed, and the site was declared a National Historic Landmark, much of it later acquired by the National Park Service. Some preservation work has been undertaken, but a few of the buildings are being allowed to continue their “slide into oblivion.”

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Reply Kennecott Mines: An Alaskan Ghost Town (Original post)
douglas9 Jan 2020 OP
Taraman Jan 2020 #1

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Jan 11, 2020, 12:23 PM

1. It has aged a lot since I was there in the '70s

and the glacier has receded a bunch. My father and mother worked there in the '30s till they closed the mine. That mountain, Porphyry Mountain, has been emptied except for columns. The ore was very high grade. When I was in the assay office, papers said they were measuring 55% copper or so. The rocks were HEAVY.

As I recall the town was called "Kennicott" back then, after Robert Kennicott, an amazing early American explorer. A typo in incorporation documents became Kennecott. As I recall.

Beautiful part of the United States. Now a National Landmark and part of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

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