What Are Some Facts About McCarthy, Alaska?


Quick Answer

Located between the Kennecott Glacier and McCarthy Creek, the former mining town of McCarthy once provided supplies and entertainment to miners from the Kennecott Copper Mine. As of April 2015, the town, located inside of the Wrangell-St Elias National Park, has both permanent and seasonal residents.

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What Are Some Facts About McCarthy, Alaska?
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Full Answer

The company town Kennicott, spelled incorrectly by its founders, was about three miles from the mines. It provided the basics, including a store, hospital, lodging and medical services. As a company town, it had a reputation for having strict conduct rules.

McCarthy formed 5 miles down the hill. This mining town was the exact opposite, offering hotels, bordellos, saloons and pool halls along with shops and services. The CR & NW Railway served both towns and connected the area with Cordova, Alaska, roughly 60 miles away. In 1938, the railway and the mine closed. The federal government took over the right of way in 1941, and it is now the McCarthy Road.

The Wrangell-St Elias National Park opened in 1980. Both McCarthy and what's now known as the Kennecott District are on the southern edge of the park. The Kennecott Visitor Center and Chitina Ranger Station are in this area as well. The government eventually corrected the "Kennicott" spelling.

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