Kenai Peninsula Historic Park or Site

Step into the past and explore the captivating historic parks and sites of the Kenai Peninsula. Immerse yourself in the stories of the gold rush and learn about the brave pioneers who have shaped this remarkable region.

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Historic Park or Site

Quick: what’s the longest com­bined rail and high­way tun­nel in North Amer­i­ca? It’s the Ander­son Memo­r­i­al Tun­nel, and you’ll dri­ve through it on the scenic and his­toric dri­ve to Whit­ti­er. The Kenai Moun­tains-Tur­na­gain Arm Nation­al Her­itage Area is a place whose val­leys and moun­tains, com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple tell the larg­er sto­ry of a wild place and a rugged fron­tier. This audio guide gives you the inside scoop on its fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry. You’ll…  ...more

The Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe’s Dena’ina ances­tors, rec­og­niz­ing the abun­dance of the place called Yagha­nen, the good land,” set­tled along the banks of its rivers and Tikaht­nu (Cook Inlet). In the past sev­er­al years, one loca­tion the Kenaitze Tribe has focused on is Sqi­lant­nu, mean­ing the gro­cery store,” locat­ed in the area now called Coop­er Land­ing. Today, Kenaitze Indi­an Tribe part­ners with the Chugach Nation­al For­est to pre­serve, pro­tect and  ...more

Built between 1894 – 96, the Holy Assump­tion Ortho­dox Church is the most endur­ing exam­ple of Russ­ian cul­ture in south cen­tral Alas­ka. For the Kenaitze Indi­ans, who once com­prised a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, this church con­sti­tut­ed a major link to west­ern cul­ture. A sim­ple, wood-frame struc­ture with clap­board sid­ing, Holy Assump­tion Church fea­tures a square two-sto­ry bell tow­er and a dis­tinc­tive crown-shaped cupo­la, both with the…  ...more

In 1906 the chapel was built to hon­or Father Igu­men Nico­lai and Makary Ivanov. Fr. Nico­lai, Kenai’s first priest, brought small pox vac­cine, which saved the lives of hun­dreds of Dena’i­na. The chapel is on the site of the orig­i­nal 1849 church, locat­ed in the north­west cor­ner of the Russ­ian fur trad­ing post of Fort St. Nicholas.

Although this cab­in is not acces­si­ble from the road sys­tem, it bears men­tion­ing as a Nation­al His­toric Site in the Cor­ri­dor. Har­ry A. John­son arrived in Seward in 1904 from Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia. A 30-year-old black­smith, he came north to help build the railroad. 

The Hope-Sun­rise His­tor­i­cal and Min­ing Muse­um exhibits pho­tographs and arti­facts of the Tur­na­gain Arm Gold Rush of 1896 and the years since.

Palmer Creek and the road that fol­lows it were named after George Palmer, who in 1894 first dis­cov­ered gold on its banks. The creek was the site of ear­ly plac­er min­ing and lat­er lode min­ing. Evi­dence of the his­toric Lucky Strike and Hir­shey mines, as well as the Swet­mann camp, can be found along trails that lead to Palmer Lakes. Sev­er­al hik­ing trails are acces­si­ble from the Palmer Creek Road.

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