Valdez Historic Parks & Sites

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Historic Park or Site

Dur­ing the win­ter of 1907 the A.J. Meals Co. freight­ed a 70-ton steam­boat over Mar­shall Pass from Valdez. The steam­er was car­ried piece-by-piece on horse-drawn sled to the Cop­per Riv­er, 31 miles east. The 110-foot-long ship trav­eled 170 miles of the Cop­per and Chit­na Rivers.

This rail­road tun­nel was hand-cut start­ing in 1905. Nine com­pa­nies were bat­tling to take advan­tage of the short route from the coast to cop­per coun­try. Progress on the tun­nel was inter­rupt­ed and after a gun bat­tle, con­struc­tion halt­ed and the tun­nel was nev­er fin­ished. You can read about the tun­nel and these events in Rex Beach’s nov­el, The Iron Trail.

This road­stop hon­ors Lt. Bil­ly” Mitchell, con­sid­ered the father of the mod­ern air force, and show­cas­es the moun­tain named in his honor.

This was the orig­i­nal port and city of Valdez. The city was moved to its cur­rent loca­tion 4 miles down the road after it was dev­as­tat­ed by the 1964 Good Fri­day Earthquake.

Eight signs will guide you through the Cop­per Riv­er water­shed land­scape. See if you can vis­it all eight signs on your tour through this upriv­er basin formed by the ancient, glacial Lake Atna!

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