Alaska Gold Rush History & Genealogy

On the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, at the confluence of Kenai Lake and Kenai River. The town was first settled in the 19th century by gold and mineral prospectors.

Cooper Landing was named for Joseph Cooper, a miner who discovered gold there in 1884. However, Peter Doroshin, a Russian engineer, had identified gold prospects as far back as 1848 when the territory was still part of Russian America.

Cooper Creek was first recorded in 1898 by the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1900, the Census found 21 miners and 1 wife living at Cooper Creek. The Riddiford Post Office began operations in 1924, and the Riddiford School opened in 1928.

In 1938, a road was constructed to Seward. In 1948, a road to Kenai was opened, and by 1951, residents could drive to Anchorage. The Cooper Landing Community Club was first formed in 1949.

 

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