Last week I was dropped off at Bremner Historic Mining District (wiki) by our flagship bush plane, a 1949 de Havilland Beaver. We approached with a slight tailwind and landed in a heap.
Lay of the Land
I had barely stepped off the plane when I was greeted by a smiling senior woman outfitted in treking gear. “They brought me my favorite supply, happy people!”
Barbara works as a caretaker for the National Park Service. She first came to Bremner in 2004, and after being forced away for health related reasons and then dabbling in retirement, she decided to return.
Facing south towards the airstrip. It was a two mile hike from the bunkhouse to the airstrip with two creek crossings.
Bremner used to be a gold mining outfit operating between 1901-1916 and then again from 1927-1942 before the United States entered World War II and deemed gold a non-essential metal. It’s positioned in the flats of a valley rounded by landslides located on the north side of the Chugach Mountains. The abandoned buildings and equipment are still in good shape because their remote location prevented them from being vandalized.
That’s actually why Bremner has a caretaker – to prevent people from taking artifacts. And it does happen. Barbara told me about a team of two who flew in and tried to take the wheels off an old Ford truck before she soft-handedly scared them away by playing dumb and making polite conversation about the nature of their visit.
The mines are up in the mountains. Barbara pointed out their locations and noted their proximity to yellowish veins of quarts striking down the cut-away rock. Bremner Camp consists of a few tool sheds, a hydro-electric powerhouse, and a bunkhouse that used to sleep 27 workers.
She said the park service was considering Bremner as a potential location for an artist-in-residency program. After being supplied with a piece of cardstock and two pencils, I hiked up the western side of the valley to sketch.
Here are a few more pictures:
This was taken from the room I stayed in.
Morning time – around 10am – on my way back to the airstrip.
Old world swallowtail butterfly (wiki).
It was a cool spot. My time was short, and I’d like to go back to do some exploring to the south. But who knows..