Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Roadhouse - Copper Center Alaska

On a previous fishing trip to Copper Center my sons and I had a couple of meals at the Copper Center Lodge.  It was a funky old log building parts of which dated back to the original 1896 gold rush era structure built to house and feed prospectors.

As a business of course it had its ups and downs, several fires had damaged it as one would expect in a building made of oiled logs and heated by burning wood through a long winter.  But it was a local institution serving the needs of construction workers, travelers, fishermen.  It became known as one of the last of the classic Alaska roadhouses.  When we were there we were interested to note that most of the men - I don't recall about the women - were carrying substantial pistols.  This seemed entirely appropriate on a day when my oldest son had a brief encounter with a grizzly bear while fishing a half mile away.  I had something made from reindeer meat.  It was OK.

A year or so after our visit the old place burned again, this time being completely destroyed.

Happily they have rebuilt, continuing the tradition of the site if not exactly on the same spot.

Here is a photo of the Copper Center Lodge circa 1915.

And the same spot, more or less, today.  They seem to be slowly working on a good sized replacement structure.

You see a lot of retired US Army trucks up here.

The actual cafe that is a continuation of the Roadhouse is in a vintage log building but nice and tidy inside.

Had an excellent breakfast with reindeer sausage.  Traditions both persist and evolve.  The sign on the wall says that open carry weapons are welcome but asks that they remain holstered unless "needed"....and that accuracy would be appreciated if they were.
But while the TV had Fox News on a couple of guests grabbed the remote and put on MSNBC.  After they left somebody else switched it back.  Politics in Alaska are interesting.

The website of the current incarnation of the Copper Center Lodge:  Old Town Copper Center

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