We decided to go to McCarthy for 4th of July. I took tons of photos and somehow managed to loose most of them. So there won’t be many on this blog.
We headed to McCarthy in our camper. I had not been there since 1980. David had never been there. Our kids and granddaughters were meeting us there.
Boy was I surprised when we got there. Where we had camped back in May of 1980 was now a campground. It was still just a big gravel area along the Kennicott River. We found a camping spot, you just park where you want. You can’t get the big RV’s down the road to McCarthy. The hand trolley that used to take you across the river has been replaced by a footbridge. The people of McCarthy no longer had to wait until spring to drive across the Kennicott River because they have a private bridge now.
We arrived a day early from the rest of our party, so we could find us a good campsite. We found one right on the river and parked so we could save a space for the rest of us. There is only one other camper on the other end of the area we were camping in. As we got out of our truck and were walking to the back I notice that the person at the other campsite is walking over. All of a sudden she says, “I knew it was you. I saw those legs getting out of the truck and I thought those look like Cindy’s legs. Then I saw that long grey hair and I knew it was you.” It was only David’s niece, Laura and her two kids, Mattie and Hannah. We had no idea that she was there. Now our family camping trip got even bigger.
We spent 4th of July in McCarthy. We went to the pancake breakfast and then to the parade. Our twin granddaughter’s were in the parade because Daddy made a cool stroller that goes easily across rough terrain. He put bushwheels, airplane tires, on the stroller. Everyone was taking photos of it.
Checkout more about McCarthy here:
It was a booming place when the Kennicott mine was going strong because alcoholic beverages and prostitution were forbidden in Kennecott.
It is also known for the murders of 1983 when a man shot 6 of the 22 residents while they waited for the mail plane to land. There is more about this on Discovery Channel’s Alaska’s Ice Cold Killer episode “Frozen Terror”.
There was also a TV series on Discovery Channel called “Edge of Alaska”
Then there was the story about the Pilgrims. Who were thought to be this big family who moved out to some land outside of McCarthy who were quaint and charming until the truth came out.
This poor little town has a lot of bad things happen to it but it just keeps on going.
The next day we went up to Kennicott mine. It was a ghost mine when I was here in 1980. When they closed the mine they just left everything there. The whole mine was deteriorating. In June of 1998, the National Park Service acquired many of the significant buildings and lands of the historic mining town of Kennicott. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1986, Kennicott is considered the best remaining example of early 20th Century copper mining.
I wish I wouldn’t have lost my photos but life goes on. I guess this means I need to go back.
Hope you enjoyed the history lesson.
Thanks for stopping by!
2 thoughts on “Ghost Town”
Oh my goodness! I read that whole story about the Hales, both links you provided. What a nightmare, I can’t believe they all survived. It’s fascinating he has ties with Ft Worth (where I live) and Charles Manson, and Jack Nicholson. It’s also strange to me that all the children stayed with the simple life, not knowing or caring how the rest of the world lives. What a wild and harrowing story.
And to think we were trying to find property there in 1980. I thank God we never did.