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Great Northern Development Gold Mine Accident, 2012

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 9 Dec 2012
Location: Cordova, Valdez–Cordova Census Area, Alaska map
Surnames/tags: Alaska Accidents Mining
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Mine: Great Northern Development Mine
Location: Cordova, Valdez–Cordova Census Area, Alaska
Date: 9 December 2012
Cause: Avalanche (Gold Mine)

History and Circumstances

Area History
Few people lived in the Valdez area until the winter of 1897-98 when gold-seekers came to Valdez to follow the "All-American Route" over the Valdez Glacier into the Interior.The route was based on an inaccurate description by US Army Lt. William Abercrombie of a trail that he quite probably had never actually traversed during the course of his 1884 Copper River Expedition. Nonetheless, the route was advertised all over the continental US as an established, preexisting trail. It was a great surprise, therefore, to the would-be miners to arrive in Valdez and find no town and no real trail. A tent city sprang up at the head of the bay; thus Valdez was formed. Four thousand stampeders came through Valdez that year. Some of them stayed on shore to set up shops and other businesses; others dragged themselves and their gear up and over the glacier. [1]

Mine History

Mine Disaster Circumstances
A snow slide at Copper Mountain carried away most of the buildings of the Great Northern Development Company’s mine and buried 11 men, only 2 of whom were rescued. It was located 15 miles from the Copper River railroad and bad trails made difficult the work of sending relief to the camp. The men who escaped worked to dig out the bodies of their fellow workmen but make slow headway because of the depth of the slide which carried with it great quantities of earth and piled the wrecked buildings into a jumbled mass under a mountain of snow.[2]

Investigation Report

Miner Victims

9 Lives Lost in the Great Northern Development 4 Gold Mine Avalanche


  1. https://
  2. Men are Buried in Avalanche of Snow. East Oregonian (Pendleton, Oregon). 12 Dec 1912, Thu. Page 6

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