Tag Archives: history


Revisiting Kennecott

At its peak, the five mines of Kennecott: Mother Lode, Glacier, Bonanza, Jumbo & Erie, produced $32.4 million in copper ore in 1916. Between 1909 and 1938, Kennecott produced 4.6 million tons of ore and 1.183 billion pounds of copper.

The Kennecott mine and mill town were named after the Kennicott Glacier, which lies in the valley below the mine, although with a slight misspelling. The change is blamed on a clerical error.

The Alaska Syndicate, headed by Daniel Guggenheim and J.P. Morgan, had bought 40% of the Bonanza Mine from the Alaska Copper and Coal Company in 1906. Eventually, the venture turned public, and the Kennecott Copper Corporation was launched in April of 1915.

At its peak, 300 people worked in the mill town, and up to 300 more in the mines. A self-contained company town, Kennecott contained a hospital, general store, school, skating rink, tennis court, recreation hall, and dairy.

The Great Depression had driven down the price of copper, and by 1938, the quality of ore coming out of the mine had dropped. The final train traveled from Kennecott down the CR&NW rail line in November of 1938.

Deserted for decades, Kennecott was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, six years after Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve was established. Much of the old mill town was purchased by the National Park Service in 1998. Since then, NPS has been slowly stabilizing and rehabilitating several of the structures within Kennecott.


Walking the streets of Kennecott


Glacier through the alley


A view of Kennicott Glacier from an alley at the old mine

I found an old roll of black & white that I shot the last time I was out in the McCarthy area, hiking around the Kennecott Mines. I recently developed the film, so over the next few days I’ll share a few photos of that trip/hike.

Some of the photos are okay, some are just fair, but the old mine is fascinating, and I love heading out there. I do remember that the weather was absolutely wonderful, barely a cloud in the very bright sky, which isn’t always the best when shooting B&W.


Danger in Kennecott


Breaking News:

This just in from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus:

Minnesota Athletic Director, Mark Coyle has announced that the University has sold the rights to the Minnesota Rouser to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing for the next 12 years to the tune of $750,000.
“I’m really excited about this, and obviously I have enhanced the marching band by bringing in 3M, an iconic corporation in Minnesota. Nothing says Minnesota like the Rouser and Post-It-Notes”, Coyle stated in the press release.

Mr Coyle goes on to say, “You’ll hardly notice the difference, since the old rouser will still be a part of the new & improved version. It seems really ‘catchy’ and I think people will enjoy the addition: M-M-M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A!”


MMMariucci Arena

Mark Coyle, the new athletic director at the University of Minnesota, has been threatening it for months. I suppose that softens the blow a bit. At least it comes as no surprise that the athletic department has sold out Mariucci Arena, the home of Golden Gopher Hockey, to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Better known as 3M.

Mariucci will be rechristened 3M Arena at Mariucci on October 1, when the Gophers play an exhibition game against Alberta, and the University of Minnesota will receive $11.2 million over 14 years for the sell out.

Most of the press release will cause alum to vomit, but my favorite part was:
“Today’s announcement brings together three names instantly recognizable across Minnesota –Mariucci, Gopher Hockey and 3M — and that’s certainly exciting.” — Mark Coyle

Oh, I’m excited all right.

No word yet on when Pillsbury Doughboy at Williams will be announced for the venerable old Barn, where the basketball team plays. Expect that in the coming weeks.