Golden Mine, Port Wells

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Golden Mine, Port Wells

by | Oct 10, 2020

Golden is a historical mining community on Port Wells, a fjord in northwestern Prince William Sound, about 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Valdez and 27 miles (44 km) northeast of Whittier, Alaska. Port Wells was named in 1794 by Captain George Vancouver of the Royal Navy, possibly for Edward Wells, an English mathematician, geographer, and controversial theologian.

Gold and copper mining in Prince William Sound peaked during the early 1900s. The productive mines in 1915 included four copper mines and five gold mines. The value of the total mineral production of the Prince William Sound region was $1,340,996 in 1915. The gold-quartz ores were treated locally in a small stamp or roller mills, and the amalgamated concentrates were shipped to smelters at Tacoma, Washington. The regular producers were the Beatson Mine on Latouche Island and the Ellamar Mine at Ellamar. Smaller operations included mines in Landlock Bay, Port Fidalgo, Knight Island, and Port Wells.

The largest mines in Port Wells were the Granite Mine at Hobo Bay and the Golden Mine. Golden had a post office from 1904 until 1916, and ocean-going steamers made regular visits to Port Wells for mail and passengers. A survey of mining activity in 1915 reported that the Cordova Mining & Development Company installed a stamp mill and an aerial tram at Golden on the Nugget and Golden Wonder No. 9 claims with a force of about 25 men, but later in the year operations were discontinued. The Golden Eagle mill was also idled in 1915, even though some underground development was done the preceding winter. A tunnel was driven on the Wagner prospect near Golden, and in the spring a crew of 15 men started to sink a shaft on the Keynote claim. Mining was discontinued at Golden in 1916 with the entry of the U.S. in World War I the following year. Read more here and here. Explore more of Golden and Port Wells here:

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