The Crow Creek Mine is just outside the town of Girdwood a few miles up a dirt road. The Winner Creek flows through and it's not too far from the end of the Winner Creek Trail we hiked the day before. We got to spend a couple hours there and had a great time meeting the owner and some of the people who worked there. They were busy taking down a tent, lights, chairs, and tables after a wedding. Turns out having your wedding at a historic gold mine is pretty popular in Alaska.
We also learned that the owner is a musician and loves bluegrass music. When he learned where we were from he asked about ETSU and their Bluegrass Degree program. People all the way in Alaska know about ETSU and bluegrass.
A young lady was there helping take down the lights. When we got there she told us all about meeting President Obama a couple days before. Her brother-in-law is in the Secret Service and got her in to the group that greeted The President when he arrived at the Anchorage airport. She said she shook his hand and started to blubber like a little girl. It was fun to hear her story and see how excited she was.
Rather than tell you about the mine, I'll use the owners description from their website -
|There's gold in that stream!|
|Dinner At Crow Creek Mine|
This is not your typical tourist "pan for gold" attraction where they might put some small nuggets in a stream. It is a real working gold mine. The owner told us about several people who either make a living or supplement their income by panning for gold in the creek.
When the mine was in full swing they used high pressure water to blast away the rock and soil and direct the sediment to a sluice where the gold was separated. They blasted away whole hillsides and created a man made canyon. Here's an illustration from wikipedia that will give you an idea of what this looked like. They had one of the old water canons there but I didn't think to get a photo.
We didn't pan for gold, but we did find some fun photographs in this historic site. I love old rusty, decaying stuff and this place had it in abundance.
The owner loves flowers and decorates the area with a variety of flora. He had already begun winterizing and had taken many of his plants to a greenhouse to live out the winter. They live here year round, but it does get a bit harsh. He told us they can get 20 feet of snow!
|Old and New|
Most of the old building were originals from the end of the 19th century. They were fun to photograph from the inside and outside.
He had a couple old trucks out on the grounds. You can see the old Ford pickup reflecting in the pond.
A fun place to stop and visit. If you go, check them out.