The small town of Hope sits just south of Anchorage, yet it has maintained a fairly quiet existence for the past century.
The town prides itself as a quiet place, but history shows that hasn’t always been the case. Much of the mining history is kept alive through old artifacts and buildings at the Hope and Sunrise Historical and Mining Museum.
“In 1895 there was a good clean up at one of the mines and word got outside and the next summer 1896 three thousand miners came up to Turnagain Arm Cook Inlet,” said the museum’s Development Coordinator Diane Olthuis.
A gold rush in the area began in 1896 and brought an estimated 3,000 miners to the mountains around Hope, a full year before the famous Klondike rush. Legend has it the town was named for a young man named Percy Hope, the first prospector to step off a boat that landed there. Buildings that now house the Seaview Café and Bar still stand from that year. The Social Hall, built in 1902 is credited with keeping the town going all these years.
Josh Anderson has worked at the Sea view Café and Bar for 6 years, though he says he’s basically a lifelong resident of Hope. He says he has no intention of leaving.
“It was a place to hang out and with so many of them living in absolutely tiny cabins it was something special and it was part of the reason hope persisted,” Anderson said. “It’s the people in it that make it the place that it is really because everybody’s so friendly and we’re like one big family and you know we can work through anything.”
The activity along Main Street may have changed over the past century but the residents of this city know what keeps Hope alive.
Contact: Dan Carpenter