Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine

It was a drizzly, chilly day when the lovely Robin and I visited Hatcher Pass in the southwest part of the Talkeetna Mountains on our recent trip to Alaska. But we had such warm company (George, Jeannie, Eloisa, and Jeff), we mostly didn't mind. The pass, about twelve miles from Wasilla, is named after Robert Hatcher, a prospector and miner. The photo above was taken at a scenic stop at the Little Susitna River, which runs through the pass.
We visited the Independence Mine State Historical Park, once the site of a productive gold mine. It was actually two mines: The Alaska Free Gold (Martin) Mine on Skyscraper Mountain, and Independence Mine on Granite Mountain. In 1938 the two merged under the Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company (APC). The mine closed during World War II and, though it was reopened in 1946, closed permanently in 1951. In less than fifty years of operation, the mine produced nearly six million dollars' worth of gold. 
The apartment above was one of the living quarters used by the supervisors of the mine. The house that was built for the mine's head foreman is now the office and information center for the park. 

It was so fun and informative to walk around the site, despite the rain and cold, and browse the small bookstore. It was a glimpse into a fascinating time and place. 

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