Building in an Ashen Land: Historic Resource Study
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Historic Property Summary and Recommendations

The two major historic trails in the present-day park and preserve are the Hallo Bay Trail and the Katmai Pass Trail. Both trails were used off and on for hundreds if not thousands of years. So far as is known, neither trail was used so often that an identifiable surface tread was ever imprinted, and obvious impacts were made by the June 1912 eruption. A survey is recommended that would document both of these trails, perhaps as part of a cultural landscape inventory.

Another surface route of some note is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Road. This route, constructed in 1962, is the only long-distance road in the park and the only road of any length that was built after the NPS began actively administering the area. For more than 35 years, it has been the only practical way in which tens of thousands of visitors have accessed the volcanic landscape created by the eruption of Novarupta, and it is a key element in the park's interpretive program. It is the park's most significant Mission 66 built feature. At some point in the future, park personnel may wish to nominate this feature to the National Register of Historic Places. The road should be considered as a contributing property of a Tourism theme Multiple Property Documentation Form.

Several shipwrecks are found along the park shoreline, the most significant of which is the Golden Forest shipwreck (XMK-125). Other shipwrecks that took place in areas currently under NPS control include the Western Star, wrecked in Katmai Bay in 1898; the GoGet, which was wrecked at the cannery dock in Kukak Bay in 1930; and the Mary C. Fisher, which was wrecked three miles east of Cape Kubugakli in 1931. There is no evidence, however, that any remains of these three ships still exist. Of note, the Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987 gives the state title to significant historic shipwrecks that are within state waters. Any preservation or management efforts would need to coordinate with the State of Alaska, Office of History and Archaeology. Recommendation for the Golden Forest shipwreck is benign neglect.

Also of note is the Kulik Lake Airstrip, located just southeast of Kulik Camp. This 4,000-foot airstrip was bladed out in 1954, 1955, and 1958. The only airstrip in the present-day park and preserve, it reflects the changing needs of the park's concessioners and development of tourism. It is also a case study of the difficult, often contentious relationship between a concessioner, whose primary aim is serving its clientele to the exclusion of all others, and a federal bureaucracy, whose sole aim is broad public access. Recommendation for the airstrip to be considered as a contributing property within a Tourism theme Multiple Property Documentation Form.


1 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 87.

2 Ibid., 243.

3 Davis, Archeological Investigations of Inland and Coastal Sites of the Katmai National Monument, Alaska, 70-71.

4 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 233.

5 Arndt, personal communication, 30 July 1999.

6 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 123, 128-29.

7 Ibid., 261.

8 Tollefson to Superintendent, Katmai National Monument, April 13, 1977 memo with attached transcript from October 22, 1975 oral interview with Harry Kaiakokonok, page 8-9, in AKSO, Katmai files.

9 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 268-70.

10 Ibid., 283-84.

11 Ibid., 287-88.

12 Krech, A Victorian Earl in the Arctic, 86-87.

13 Griggs, The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, 267, 301.

14 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 305.

15 Ibid., 308-310.

16 Griggs, The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, 267.

17 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 293.

18 Quoted in Griggs, The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, 268. The "considerable stream of hot water" noted in 1898 had been replaced, during the post-eruption period, with many streams of warm water.

19 Griggs, The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, 191.

20 Bodeau, Katmai National Park and Preserve, 160-61; Norris, Isolated Paradise, 52-53.

21 Griggs, "Our Greatest National Monument," National Geographic Magazine 40 (September, 1921), 289.

22 Arno Cammerer to Scott Bone, January 5, 1923, in File 42, RG 101, Alaska State Archives.

23 Norris, Isolated Paradise, 66, 87-88.

24 Ibid., 111-15, 155-56, 165-66.

25 Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian American Company, Vol. 2., 107.

26 DeArmond, "Fur Trails to Cook Inlet," unpub. mss., n.d., at Alaska Historical Library, 30.

27 Unrau, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, 84.

28 Ibid.

29 ACC Douglas Station records, Box 5, folder 68, UAF.

30 Knutson, The Moran Fleet: Twelve to the Yukon, 11 and 31.

31 Hussey, Embattled Katmai, 332.

32 See the following Anchorage Daily Times articles, all from 1929: July 25, p. 1; July 26, 1; August 6, 1; August 16, 1; September 13, 1; September 18, 1; September 26, 1.

33 Evert E. Tornfelt and Michael Burwell, Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (Anchorage, Minerals Management Service, 1992), 55, 58.

34 Norris, Tourism in Katmai Country, 6.

35 "Katmai Country," Alaska Geographic, 50-51.

36 Norris, Isolated Paradise, 88-89, 99, 116.

37 Mount McKinley National Park, Superintendent's reports for August and September 1963.

38 Norris, Isolated Paradise, 124, 150-53, 164.

39 Ibid., 178-80, 207-08.

40 Ibid., 52.

41 Ibid., 56-57, 61-62, 68, 73.

42 Norris, Tourism in Katmai Country, 5-7, 15-16.

43 Norris, Isolated Paradise, 98-99.

44 Ibid., 101-05.

45 Ibid., 99; Norris, Tourism in Katmai Country, 37.

46 Norris, Tourism in Katmai Country, 40-41.

47 Norris, Isolated Paradise, 123-24.

48 Norris, Tourism in Katmai Country, 81-82.

49 Ibid., 106-10.

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Last Updated: 22-Oct-2002