Cordova Historical Museum


From 1911 to 1938, the Kennecott Copper Mine in the Wrangell Mountains produced 4.6 million tons of copper and silver ore. To move the ore to the village of Cordova for export to outside smelters, the mine hired Michael Heney to engineer a $28-million, 200-mile railroad along the steep-sided cliffs and surging glaciers leading from the mine site to the town. The Million Dollar Bridge, built in 1908 at a cost of $1.5 million, carried the railroad across the Copper River and was used until 1938, when the mine closed. The Cordova Historical Museum highlights the era of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad and the Kennecott Mine.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The town of Cordova was named in 1906 by Michael Heney, builder of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. Cordova became the railroad terminus and ocean shipping port for copper ore from the Kennecott Mine. In April 1911, the first trainload of ore was loaded onto the steamship Northwestern, bound for a smelter in Tacoma, Washington.
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