One of the most integral parts of Alaskan history is that of the Gold Rush, the main economic and social enterprise in the area during the settling of the territory. At Independence Mine State Park your group will learn about what it was like to live and work in the mine camps on the intimidatingly large freezing frontier, as well as receive vital information about the soft metal with such a strong history, gold! Most people associate the Alaskan Gold Rush with the city of Fairbanks, but the first successful gold digging session was actually just southeast of Anchorage in the Mat-Su Valley. These quartz-filled creek basins, as well as the Talkeetna Mountains, provided ample lode and mining opportunities in 1886. Before mining efforts halted in WWII, as it was deemed a nonessential effort for the war, the area brought out nearly six million dollars worth of gold. The peak year in 1941 brought about $1,204,560 worth of gold, which today equals $17,208,000!
Within the 271 acre state park you will see the Mine Manager's House, which houses the Visitor Center and Mine Museum, each full with historical exhibits about Independence Mining and gold mining in general. Take a look around at some of the old log cabins that belonged to the 204 men that worked in these mines, and even look at the entrance of the dozens of miles of tunnels within Skyscraper and Granite Mountains. Though the mines have been out of operation since 1951, the park is buzzing with gold rush excitement still today. The Independence Mine State Park is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as is a location deemed culturally significant to America, and is the perfect way for you and your group to get in touch with the true pioneer days in Alaska.