Whittier Historic Park or Site
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
Whittier is not only gorgeous; it’s also full of fascinating WWII and Cold War history. And that past is easy to explore — the town publishes a map outlining an engaging walking tour of the historic sites. (You’ll get a copy when you drive through the Whittier Tunnel; those arriving by cruise ship can pick one up in any local business.)
In 1943, The Army Corps of Engineers built a monument commemorating the effort of building the 2.5 mile long tunnel through the solid rock of Maynard to realize the vision of Whittier as a year-round ice-free port. The monument was recently restored in a new location with the original plaque.
The area of Whittier has long served as passage between Prince William Sound and Turnagain Arm. The Alaska Engineering Expedition envisioned a rail line out to this largely unsettled area back in 1914, but it was the U.S. Army that made Whittier where and what it is.