Thursday, June 27, 2013

Independence Mine

The snow finally melted and I got a chance to visit the Independence Mine outside of Palmer, AK. The original claim was staked in 1906 but the structures and equipment of the Independence Mine were built between 1936 and 1942. Today, almost all of the operational areas are ruined but the administrative areas of the mine remain intact.

Only a few pieces of mining equipment remain. The rest was sold when the mine closed permanently in the early 1950s.

Tracks from the main shaft to the mill give a sense of direction, but the supporting trestle only partially remains.

I assume this was a tool sharpening shop given the racks of drill rods that remain.

The mill is so demolished that it's hard to even piece together a sense of flow for the rock as it was worked into a concentrate form. The concentrate was shipped to Tacoma, Washington for smelting.

In addition to the $5 / vehicle entrance fee, we paid $6 per person for a guided tour of some of the buildings. Most of the buildings weren't lit and photography was a challenge.

Architecturally they were nothing special, but I found myself drooling over the quality of the wood that was used, even in the floors.

There is at least one mine still operating in the area and opportunities for a variety of hikes in the area. The access road is great, and there is room to park RVs of any size.

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