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Gold Rush Country
Willow Creek placer gold was first discovered in 1896. Robert Lee Hatcher staked the first hard rock claim in 1906. In the ensuing years, several mining operations began. In 1938 the Alaska Free Gold Mine merged with Independence Mine to form the Alaska Pacific Consolidation Mining Company (APC). In 1941, with 83 mining claims, APC was the largest producer in the mining district employing over 200 workers, opening nearly 12 miles of tunnels and producing 34,000 ounces of gold. After World War II, mining activity declined until the mine was closed in 1951. The abandoned buildings and the surrounding 271 acres became Independence Mine State Historical Park in 1984.
Independence Mine State Historical Park
The Alaska Division of Parks operates Independence Mine State Historical Park. With over 13 structures (built in the late 1930s and early 1940s), this abandoned mining camp was entered into the national Register of Historic Places in 1974. The visitor center (formerly the mine manager's home) is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from early June through early September. The Alaska Natural History Association offers guided tours. For a map of Independence Mine, click here.
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Yahoo Mat-Su! Where Alaska comes to play
The Mat-Su Valley is your place for adventure. From flightseeing Mount McKinley to rafting the Matanuska River, excitement is right around every corner. Spectacular views abound, from mountains to glaciers to wildlife. Conveniently located 35 miles north of Anchorage, your Alaska experience begins when you get to the Mat-Su Valley. Spend a day exploring Hatcher Pass, test your luck fishing or take advantage of the bountiful hiking. The Mat-Su Valley - where Alaska comes to play!
You'll find a wide variety of lodging options to fit your preferences and budget. Choose from comfo...
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Alaska adventure is everywhere in the Mat-Su Valley! Summer and winter you will find a wide variety...
Three mountain ranges... 2,000 miles of trails... thousands of lakes... hundreds of miles of rivers...
Choose from fine dining to down home cafes and everything in between. Many of these restaurants use...
Mark the occasion of your Alaska visit with a special keepsake that tells the story of your adventu...
Alaska winters are spectacular in the Mat-Su Valley. Alpenglow sunsets over Denali, winter ice fish...
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