Thu, December 26, 2013

The Chisna Mining and Improvement Company

Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from Hazelet’s Journal, a new book by George Cheever Hazelet and John Clark previously mentioned here on this blog.

“The Chisna Mining and Imp. Company, of which G. C. Hazelet is manager, and A. J. Meals is superintendent, has expended in the last two years one hundred thousand dollars in machinery, supplies, etc., besides the labor of twenty-five men in opening their property. This property lies well up towards the head waters of the Copper River, on a creek called Chisna, and is about 225 miles almost due north from Valdez. Messrs. Hazelet and Meals went in with the rush of 1898 to the Copper River country, reaching what is now the town of Valdez the first March of that year.
“They had with them a two year’s supply of provisions and at once set out over the glacier, transporting their supplies on hand sleds to the foot of the Klutena or Abercrormbie lake, reaching that point on the first day of May. In company with A. H. McNeer of West Virginia they build a boat at this point and proceeded down the Klutena river to its junction with the Copper, where is now located the pretty little town of Copper Center….

“To Messrs. Hazelet and Meals is due the credit of discovering the Chistochina ‘diggings’ and their company has done more towards developing the country than any other similar organization.” (A Guide for Alaska Miners, Settlers and Tourist, 1902)

The Chisna Mining and Improvement Co., a.k.a. the Hazelet-Meals Party, c. 1900.

Diston at the “Nozzle”, c. 1900. Hazelet and Meals were among the first to use hydraulic mining in Alaska.