This former mining town, just south of Douglas, Alaska, has seen better days.
Treadwell, Alaska was a company mining town for the workers and their families for up to four mines from 1883 to 1917. The town boasted five mills, stores, mess halls, bunkhouses, a marching band, and even Alaska’s first indoor swimming pool, known as a natatorium. The Treadwell Complex mined roughly $70 million in gold out of the rocks of Douglas Island.
This all came to a sudden, wet end on April 21, 1917. Questionable mining practices and an extremely high tide led to a cave-in that flooded three of the four mines operating at that time. Thankfully no lives were lost as the mines were evacuated quickly but tons of equipment, horses, mules were lost in the cave in. The mine that didn’t flood, the Ready Bullion Mine, continued to operate until 1922.
Today, what is left of this town has fallen to ruin with only a few buildings still standing and even then they are shells of their former selves. Rusting equipment, crumbling foundations, and various other remains are scattered around the site. The former town is now a park, managed by the City and Borough of Juneau, with trails and information signs scattered around the area telling of the area’s history.