100 years

Eleanor Tjosevig

Eleanor Tjosevig

A CELEBRATION IN MCCARTHY

The McCarthy Centennial Project was a celebration of the town’s 100 year history in 2006.   Sponsored by the McCarthy Lodge, the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum, KTUU Channel 2, The Alaska Railroad, and other fine organizations. A major goal of this project is to help visitors understand the dynamic and changing forces of man and environment played out in the form of a self-reliant community situated inside a unique mountain kingdom.

McCarthy is the last remaining remote intact community of individuals inside a National Park. Contrary to popular belief, McCarthy was never a ghost town – since it’s start, there was always at least a few people living in McCarthy! The private land inside the center of Wrangell-St. Elias represents a continuous

community rich in Alaskan history. Restoration of McCarthy by local residents and property owners has resulted in a powerful connection between past and present. The responsibility of preservation is a shared agenda of all who are touched by this uniquely Alaskan drama, still playing out, and located in the very center of America’s largest national park.

The McCarthy Centennial Project is a series of events and exhibits celebrating McCarthy’s first 100 years of history. It is sponsored by the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum (MKHM), a non-profit organization located in McCarthy, Alaska. In 2005 the Museum completed restoration of the roof and foundation of the Railway Depot Building (McCarthy Station), where the Museum houses its collections of historic artifacts and ephemera. A new

McCarthy 4th of July races

McCarthy 4th of July races

deck giving wheelchair access to the building (and potential outdoor exhibit space) was completed in late September of this year. Our 2006 celebration of 100 years of industry and community inside what is now America’s largest National Park includes several events held during the 2006 summer season in McCarthy.

Several organizations have agreed to work with our Museum, including The Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry (MATI), National Park Service (NPS), and several sponsorship companies, and of course many of the local area businesses.

Train depot MXY 1953

Train depot MXY 1953

On May 6th, 2006 The McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum brought a traveling version of the Centennial Project to Anchorage to be part of the Alaska Railroad Open House. The Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry brought 3 fully restored and amazing vehicles from McCarthy’s heydays to the Open House.

All summer long in the carriage shed across from the McCarthy Lodge our “Clothes Line Show.” evolved over the summer as residents and visitors hung their art on the “clothes line” creating a unique expression of the relationship people have with the town and the area known as America’s Mountain Kingdom.

The newly opened McCarthy Mercantile displayed:

  • A 20 Minute video Documentary created by KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage.
  • The Photographic artwork of 3 National Geographic Photographers: Franz Lanting, George Herbin and George Mobley. All three of these photographers have done photographic spreads of WRST in National Geographic Magazine over the years.

Our 5th annual FOURTH OF JULY – HISTORY WEEKEND Celebration included:

  • Mark Kirschoff, author of Historic McCarthy, the Town That Copper Built who gave a presentation on McCarthy’s History. Mark presented the museum with an original hand tinted JP Hubrick Panoramic Photo. This photo is on display in the JP Hubrick by loan of the Museum.
  • A visit from the Alaska Auto-Mushers with 9 fully restored historic vehicles. These vehicles drove the McCarthy Road and crossed the bridge to be in the town of McCarthy during the 4th of July, 2006.

Much of the Museum’s exterior repairs and restorations were completed in the early part of the season. Our next museum project will likely include extensive interior restoration and secure cabinets.

The McCarthy Centennial Project is a Museum collection initiative produced with the cooperation of the following organizations:

  • McCarthy Kennecott Museum
  • McCarthy Ventures LLC
  • The National Park Service -Curators, Advisory board members, and Collection documentation.
  • MATI, Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry, Wasilla – Loan of restored Speeder
  • Alaska Railroad – Traveling exhibition, May 6th, 2006, Anchorage Alaska

Many other individuals have generously donated the use of their collections to be combined for this centennial celebration.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

The Centennial Project continues to document the historic relevance of McCarthy thriving inside Wrangell St. Elias, America’s largest national park.

Do you know anyone who may be interested in this project? Do you have relevant materials (artifacts, old paper, stories, photos, etc) that you would like considered for inclusion in this project? Would your materials be available for loan or purchase for longer term museum display? Want to know how YOU can participate, or do you have questions about this project? SEND YOUR INQUIRY TO: help@mccarthylodge.com or call: (907) 554-4402 and ask for Neil Darish, project coordinator.