Few People Realize How Much Railroad History Is Preserved In The Small Town Of Kennicott, Alaska
Hidden away in the rugged wilderness of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park lies in the ghost town of Kennicott, Alaska. It’s a place frozen in time, where the remnants of a once-thriving mining town tell the story of human determination and ingenuity through the railroad history of Kennicott. And at the heart of that story is the railroad that made it all possible. The railroad in Kennicott is a testament to the power of human will and the transformative impact of technology.
Nestled in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park lies in the ghost town of Kennicott, Alaska.
Once a bustling mining town, Kennicott's history is intimately tied to the railroad that brought it to life. Today, visitors can explore the town's rich past and learn about the role the railroad played in shaping this remote corner of the Last Frontier.
The story of Kennicott begins in 1900 when two prospectors discovered a rich vein of copper in the area.
The discovery soon attracted the attention of the Kennecott Copper Corporation, which purchased the claims and began constructing a railroad to transport copper ore from the mines to the port of Cordova.
The construction of the railroad was no small feat.
Engineers had to overcome rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions to lay tracks through the remote wilderness. But despite the challenges, the railroad was completed in 1911, and Kennicott soon became a thriving town of over 600 residents.
Today, the remnants of the railroad and the town it served are still visible for visitors to explore.
The abandoned railroad tracks wind through the rugged landscape, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The Kennicott Mill, a massive structure that once processed copper ore, still stands as a testament to the town's mining heritage.
Visitors can also explore the town's other historic buildings, including the General Store, which now houses a museum dedicated to Kennicott's past.
The museum features exhibits on the town's mining history and the people who lived and worked there, as well as artifacts and photographs that bring the past to life.
You may even find a railroad spike or two as you walk around the small town.
Take one of the hikes in the area to get a bird’s eye view of this small ghost town, home to one of the most thriving railroad feats in America’s history.
The railroad history in the ghost town of Kennicott, Alaska, is a fascinating story of human ingenuity and perseverance in the face of extreme adversity.
From the original railroad's construction to the Alaska Railroad's ongoing operation today, the railroad has played a vital role in shaping the history and culture of this remote corner of the Last Frontier. So come and explore the ghost town of Kennicott and discover the railroad history that helped put this remote corner of Alaska on the map.
Have you ever learned about the railroad history in Kennicott? What did you think? Does it fascinate you? Let us know in the comments below!
Take a hike up
Bonanza Mine Trail for an incredible view of the Kennicott area!
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Address: Kennicott, McCarthy, AK 99566, USA