Independence State Historical Park is located in the Hatcher Pass area of the Talkeetna Mountain Range. Gold was discovered in the area in the late 1800's. In 1906, Robert Lee Hatcher staked a claim for hard rock (lode) gold in quartz veins. Every year I drive up to this area in the fall as the colors are so gorgeous. The whole area is like an outdoor museum and I feel like I've gone back in time. Another added bonus is the blueberry picking is great.
Wiki says: What is now called Independence Mine was once two mines: The Alaska Free Gold Mine on Skyscraper Mountain, and Independence Mine on Granite Mountain. In 1938 the two were brought together under one company, the Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company (APC). With a block of 83 mining claims, APC became the largest producer in the Willow Creek Mining District. The claims covered more than 1,350 acres (5.5 km2) and included 27 structures. In its peak year, 1941, APC employed 204 men, blasted nearly a dozen miles of tunnels, and produced about 35,000 ounces of gold.
In 1942, the War Production Board designated gold mining as nonessential to the war effort. Gold mining throughout the United States came to a halt, but Independence Mine was permitted to continue to operate because of the presence of scheelite, an ore of the "strategic mineral" tungsten, which occurs in the quartz lode with the gold.In 1943, Independence Mine was ordered to close. Mining interests returned to Hatchers Pass when gold prices rose in the mid-1970s; this resulted in a short period of production from the Independence Mine in 1982 by Coronado Mining Company.
Today, Independence Mine is a part of the Independence Mine State Historical Park, a popular winter recreatToday, Independence Mine is a part of the Independence Mine State Historical Park, a popular winter recreation area. Displays of mining artifacts may also be viewed at the Dorothy Page Museum and Old Wasilla Townsite in downtown Wasilla, Alaska. While Independence Mine was the larger and most well-known mine in the Willow Creek District, it was not the only one.