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Discover the fascinating ruins on this stunning and historic Alaska ghost city

discover-the-fascinating-ruins-on-this-stunning-and-historic-alaska-ghost-city

Treadwell Ruins – Beautiful, historic ghost town + hiking trail

By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley

To visit the fascinating ruins of the Treadwell Mine you have to go first the most scenic capital in America – Juneau, Alaska. Here, at the head of the Gastineau Canal, you will find an absolutely unreal natural beauty where the mountains meet the sea in perfect harmony. Right across from Juneau is the beautiful location of Douglas Island. On the south side of the island east of downtown Douglas is the historic location of the Treadwell Gold Mine. Once a thriving operation, today all you will find is an abundance of spectacular sights of ruins and the gold rush nature is slowly reclaiming.

John Nathan Cobb

This unique location consisted of four sub-areas from 1881 to 1922, with the Treadwell Mine being the largest hard rock gold mine in the world at its height. The site once employed over 2,000 people, including workers and their families. Between 1881 and 1922 it was reported that over 3 million troy ounces of gold were extracted from the area.

Wikipedia

Fun fact: John Treadwell himself only had about 12 years of experience and lode mines. He was a carpenter and builder by trade and came to Alaska before the Klondike gold rush. The geology on Douglas Island is pretty fascinating. It consists of a belt of volcanic green stones near Stephens Passage. Right next to the Gastineau Canal, this merges into a slate belt. In the four Treadwell mines on Douglas Island, reports state that "secondary fractured and mineralized diorite levees form the ore bodies." The gold-bearing sulfide minerals lead this place to a complete production boom.

Wikipedia

The four Treadwell sites are believed to have produced approximately $ 70 million of gold from the Douglas Island rocks during their lifetime.

Wikipedia

In the picture below, Joe Kendler and his team of dogs deliver milk to the Treadwell Mine in May 1911. This has been both a common transportation and delivery option for remote mining towns like Treadwell.

John Nathan Cobb

During its operation, the town of Treadwell had an incredible five mills, several shops, exhibition halls for employees, sports fields, a post office and stamp production facility, bunkhouses for families and much more. There was even a brass band! Alaska's first indoor swimming pool, known as the Natatorium, was also reportedly located in Treadwell.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

Today only ruins of the past are left. It's an entire ghost town full of immense history. The Treadwell Gold Mine is an amazingly dark and beautiful place where visitors can explore all of the fascinating artifacts.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

The trail takes you through breathtaking sights that are filled with overwhelming natural beauty.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

Treadwell's decline began when on March 3, 1910, an explosion occurred at the 1,100 foot high Mexican mine, so powerful that a miner died on the 900 foot high plain. This has resulted in Dynomite being saved in a journal. A total of 39 men and even a horse were killed in the release of the gases and vapors. This is said to have been the worst disaster in Alaskan mining history.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

By 1909, the instability of the mining operation was scrutinized. From 1913 onwards, signs of an impending catastrophe began to be felt as major geological changes occurred. Although they built reinforcements, they were considered ineffective. The last shaft of the Bullion Mine at Treadwell was only partially operational until 1922.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

Signs of instability had been noted by 1909, but until 1913, when major geological shifts occurred, there was no evidence of an impending disaster. Reinforcements were built but were ineffective. The last wave was processed to a limited extent until 1922.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

While today's visitors explore what once was, it is pretty easy to spend a full day exploring all of the fascinating ruins with the lush Tongass National Forest encompassing all of the sturdy ancient structures. The trail begins south on St. Ann & # 39; s Avenue in Douglas Island. You stay right on the trail and then come to the historic Treadwell Glory Hole. Next, an entrance of shafts under the Gastineau Canal leads you to a waterfall that slopes down into the Glory Holy.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

At the fork in the road, you'll want to come back and then head down to the shore to see fascinating remains from the past. Some of the things you will see include old buildings and mining machines. There's even a pit where the mine collapsed after it rained heavily in 1917. On the coast, you'll be amazed by the ancient remains of coastal docks.

Flickr – John Krumm

Graffiti has been added to some areas over the years. While it's not what many want to see, it doesn't take away from the fascinating sights and immense history that can be felt all over this area.

Flickr – fritzmb

Have you ever visited the ruins of the Treadwell Mine? We would love to see your photos and hear about your experiences in this historic place.

Flickr – jcsullivan24

Are you looking for some more great read? If you love Alaska's beautiful southeastern region, visit the lush rainforest region known as Alaska's Crown Jewel. Or Alaska's unreal inverted forest that is hidden in view. You can also explore Alaska's Mendenhall Ice Caves for a surreal glacier experience.

If you live and love The Alaska Life, share your adventures with us on our Facebook page HERE and they may be featured in one of our next blog posts.
Written by Courtney Dowd-Stanley
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