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Crow Creek Consolidated Mining Company

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1898–1906. Crow Creek Rd., Girdwood

Eight buildings remain at this site from a gold mine that operated between 1898 and 1906. The Crow Creek Consolidated Mining Company ran the most productive gold mine of the Turnagain-Knik region in the early twentieth century. Here, placer gold was uncovered through hydraulic mining, which required a strong stream of water to expose old streambeds, violently altering the landscape. The hydraulic giant, or nozzle and hose, carved out a gorge 250 feet deep. The gravel was then washed through sluice boxes that were 200 feet long, in which the gold would settle.

The buildings up on the bluff, away from the workings on the creek, depict a mining camp that served twenty or thirty miners. Surviving from the early period are the commissary, blacksmith shop, original manager's house, four-man bunkhouse, ice house, tool shed, and smokehouse. All of them are small in scale, constructed of a rough wood frame with board-and-batten siding, as in the case of the mess hall, bunkhouse, and commissary, or round logs, as in the blacksmith shop. The ice house, by the pond, has double plank walls, with a layer of sawdust between. The buildings are functional; additional buildings were also constructed to serve specific purposes.

Ownership changed several times after 1906, but the mining continued to be profitable. In 1915 a sawmill was constructed, creating a diversion flume to reroute Crow Creek and to permit the previous creek bed to be mined. In the 1920s the existing mess hall burned down. The manager's house was expanded into a new mess hall, and a new manager's house was built.

In 1967, as an Alaska Purchase Centennial project, the mine was opened to the public. Numerous artifacts found on the site are used as decoration, but they are informative nonetheless. Visitors are permitted to try their hands at panning for gold.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Alison K. Hoagland
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Citation

Alison K. Hoagland, "Crow Creek Consolidated Mining Company", [Anchorage, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AK-01-SC043.

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 108-108.

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