Valdez Historic Parks & Sites
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.
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!