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Cordova%25252525252Bvicinity

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Steamboat GULKANA, Miles Lake, Cordova, Valdez-Cordova Census Area, AK



Data Pages


Drawings


Item Title


Location
Miles Lake, Cordova%25252525252Bvicinity, AK

Find maps of Cordova%25252525252B, AK


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER AK-6
Significance: Between 1907 and 1911 the Cooper River and Northwestern Railway operated a fleet of steamboats on the Cooper and Chitina Rivers in support of railroad construction and mining operations at Kennicott. Captain George Hill supervised the design and construction of the steamboats, built first by Portland then Puget Sound Shipyards. The boats were patterned after Columbia River sternwheelers, the were designed for the shallow waters, shifting channels were knocked down and crated to Alaska for reassembly, and they operated in conjunction with a tramroad around the non-navigable Abercrombie Rapids. In 1909 the Moran Shipyards of Seattle built the 120 foot TONSINA and the 80 foot GULKANA and crated them north in time for the Cooper River break-up that summer. They proved the railroad's workhorses, the GULKANA shuttling freight across Miles Lake and the TONSINA hauling construction materials between rapids landing and Chitina. An attempt to operate the upriver fleet as a passenger and freight line proved unfeasible because of the short three month season. Following the completion of the railroad in 1911, the steamboats were dismantled. Lumber and parts were reused in buildings in Chitina. The wreck of the GULKANA dismantled at Miles Lake, alone remains - its derelict hull collapsed and its machinery scattered along the lake shore.

Related Names
Anderson, David C., Delineator


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

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