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Log Cabins Of Hope, Alaska: A Bearfoot Travel Guide Report

Two story log cabin in Hope, Alaska.
This classic log cabin in Hope has shutters and a porch.

Hope, Alaska Is An Historic Gold Rush Town That Dates Back To 1897 & Is Full Of Old, Classic-Style Log Cabins

Hope's gold rush was one of the first in Alaska. Although Russians had discovered some gold in the Kenai Peninsula in the 1850's, it wasn't until 1888 that an American, named Alexander King, found signfiicant gold in nearby creeks.

In 1893, a claim was staked on Resurrection Creek, near Hope, and soon after, miners began arriving. By 1896, there were three thousand gold miners in the area that would be called "Hope City" -- named after a young man named Percy Hope.  Six Mile Creek, which is nearby, and now used as a rafting river by commercial tourism rafters, had its own little "city" -- Sunrise City.

By 1897, when the Klondike Gold Rush began, prospectors had begun fanning all over Alaska. They were in the Turnagain-Cook Inlet region, by the thousands. In 1898, a full stampede was in effect, all over Alaska, as boatloads of would-be miners poured into Alaska.  Thousands of them trekked into the Copper Valley, far to the east, from the port of Valdez. Local historians in Hope say that in 1898 there were also 8,000 prospectors in the Cook Inlet region.

The heart of Hope, Alaska, was the social hall.
Hope, Alaska log cabin Social Hall, built in 1902.
Alaska's gold rush towns, including Hope, were once far grander and larger than they are now. Currently, only around 200 people live in Hope. But, back during the Gold Rush, Hope and Sunrise (Sunrise is now just a name; it succumbed to fires and avalanches) had five general stores between them, many saloons, ferries, trams, social halls, a pool hall, an assay office for the gold, along with a recording office, hotels, boat landings, warehouses, a cemetery... They were real towns, with post offices and a genuine population base.

But, the proximity to the "big city" of Seward to the south, and eventually to the even bigger city of Anchorage, across Turnagain Arm, was a double-edged sword for Hope. The town was relatively easy to get to, but then again, people moved out, too -- to more opportunity.

This was a log cabin town, and many of the log cabins are still in their original spots, here and there, around Hope. Others have been brought to a central location by the local volunteers who run the enterprising Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum, and who will be there to talk to you when you come by in the summer.

Historic information on outdoor sign in Hope, Alaska.
The Hope and Sunrise Historical Society is very active. They have been busy since 1971, putting Hope's historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, and opening a museum in 1994. The society has moved old mining buildings and the old school house to a cluster, behind the museum, so you can view them, and read their well-done historic outdoor signs.

This is a good place to see log cabins in Alaska.

Only 90 miles from Anchorage, across Turnagain Arm, the little historic town of Hope is very easy to get to from Anchorage. You just drive down the Seward Highway, turn right at the Hope Road, and drive 17 miles in, to the town.
Historic cabins in Alaska.
Log cabin home in Hope, Alaska.

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