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Photos courtesy of Mike and Joan Sinnwell June 2008

Independence Mine Alaska Ghost towns

This is a must see for all you Ghost town nuts. Well preserved, Thanks to the State Historical Parks, numerous buildings, displays, museum, walking tours, historical artifacts and easy access.

THANKS to the miners that went up Grubstake Gulch and discovered placer gold deposits along Willow Creek in 1897. This was one of the strikes that preceded the rush to Nome, Fairbanks or the Iditarod territory (Where I go metal detecting). Like many other gold strikes the placer led to the discovery of hard rock deposits.

Robert Lee Hatcher staked the first claim high on Skyscraper Mountain in 1906. You will understand why they called it Skyscraper mountain when you see it. Sporadic mining occurred in the area until 1937 when the Alaska Pacific Consolidated Mining Company (APC) began to develop the mine. It eventually became the second largest lode producer in the Willow creek Mining district. In 1941 the mine employed 204 men year round. In 1943 Gold Mining was declared non essential to the war effort and the mine was closed down. In 1951 the APC closed the mine for good after extracting 181,000 ounces of gold. At today's price of approximately $1,500 an ounce, that would be $271,500,000