While on a trip to Nugget Creek in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in 1994, we found the ruins of an old copper mine on the hillside not far from our cabin. Prospectors began searching the Kuskulana River region during 1899, and mined the Nugget Creek property for nearly a decade with little positive result. The efforts were abandoned in 1919. The logs of a small cabin remain along with many rusty artifacts and a partially collapsed wooden mine building.
I love poking through ruins, and this was no exception. It rained a little, then stopped, and started again. Although it was late summer, the wind and rain made our outdoor explorations chilly. Soon we returned to our haven tucked away, hidden on the side of a canyon above Nugget Creek.
This entire region of the Wrangell Mountains is ripe with history and has very few visitors. We are fortunate to be among the few.
Gail Niebrugge, Alaska artist