The Schlosser Mine property is one of the most unique properties in Alaska. Its sheer scale in acres alone is impressive, with mountain peaks, lush timber and expansive views. Being one of the last large acreages along the coast of Prince William Sound, this property is one of the most appealing and significant ocean accessible properties to become available in years. Surrounded on three sides by the Chugach National Forest, it offers best-in-class wildlife recreation with world class fishing and hunting for the outdoor enthusiast. This property is commercially zoned and includes mineral rights, an exceptionally rare find with private ownership in Alaska.
Alaska is a huge landmass, the biggest state by far, and encompasses some of North America’s largest river systems, mountain ranges and vast coastal regions. All rich in wildlife and natural resources. One of the most unique parts of Alaska is an island-studded body of water called Prince William Sound, located in Southcentral Alaska, where the panhandle bends toward the west to join the rest of Alaska’s largesse. Hidden behind its large and mountainous barrier islands is a pristine body of water, 2,300 + miles of rugged shorelines, surrounded by large mountain ranges, studded with hundreds of smaller pine-clad islands, coastal rivers, fiord-like inlets, glaciers and a hugely diverse population of marine & land wildlife. This area is at the northern tip of the North American West-Coast Rainforest, and its unique ecosystem has plant species not found anywhere else.
This remarkable wilderness is the second largest national forest in the country with 6,908,540 acres. It was formed in 1907 and includes extensive shorelines, forests and rivers, much of which is untouched by roads or trails. It hosts numerous bird, mammal and marine species, including extensive shorebird habitat and a bald eagle population larger than the contiguous 48 states combined.
Port Fidalgo Inlet is to be found in the eastern sector of PWS, winding its way more than 30 miles off the main Sound, between huge peaks. It has several sheltered bays along its shorelines, fed by short coastal rivers coming from the close-at-hand mountain ranges. These seldom-visited bays all have Salmon spawning-runs, where the bears come to gorge in season, and where the reclusive Sea Otters retire to have their young. And out in the main channel of Port Fidalgo Inlet is where the Dall's Porpoises play, the whales come with their young calves in the spring to feast on vast schools of herring & krill, and pods of Orcas come to hunt.
And halfway up the southern shoreline of Port Fidalgo Inlet, just past Irish Cove with it’s massive salmon runs, is a 240 ± acre tract of private land that is like no other. From the beach-access road up through timbered slopes, over the tops of two 1,250 ft + coastal peaks, and down the other side, sits this 240 ± acre, one-of-a-kind tract. This tract is bounded on three sides by the Chugach National Forest. From the top of the timbered peaks one can stare down and across the entirety of PWS, with its remote islands and bays. Beyond that one can see a series of rugged mountain ranges, some more than two hundred miles distant. And one can see across the tops of the Sound’s barrier islands, out across the Gulf of Alaska and the vast North Pacific Ocean. And from this private mountain-top, on clear days one can watch the massive jellyfish blooms and herring-spawns as they change the color of the ocean below in places. Or, at night, one may see vast schools of squid, as they travel by, with acres of phosphorescent bodies blinking slowly.
This unique off grid property has another feature. When Alaska became a state in 1959, the new state passed legislation to retain ownership of the mineral-rights, for all land that was sold or otherwise deeded to the private domain, from that point forward. The only private deeded properties in Alaska that have mineral-rights attached with the surface deed are those which were taken into private ownership under the U.S. 1872 Mining Law. This property is such a property and has full mineral-rights included with the deed. In the distant past, a high-grade copper/silver/gold mine was developed via underground shafts over 100 years ago. Due to economic and other circumstances at the time, the mine was closed, and left a substantial known ore-body un-mined. And it is un-mined to this very day. Re-opening of the old works has not been seriously considered by current ownership, but the future potential is always there.
The property was acquired during the late 1990's as 15 separate but contiguous mining claims, totaling 270 ± acres. Two claims were re-surveyed (Porcupine Amended and Smoky Lode) and Ravencroft Lodge and Ravencroft Subdivision (twenty-two, 1 acre lots) were established on 30 ± acres. A road easement was repaired from the previous mine activity to give access from the existing beach landing to the subdivision. The original road beyond the subdivision still exists but requires repair to reach the upper roads that traverse the property above.
Port Fidalgo's past includes; Eskimos from the misty reaches of prehistory seeking better hunting grounds, Russian adventurers trapping for sea otter pelts, Fox Farmers, Fur Traders, English and Spanish Sailing Ship Explorers looking for a Northwest passage, Gold prospectors, Geologists, Glaciologists and Loggers.
Captain James Cook first discovered Prince William Sound in the year 1778. His ships were the research vessels, "Discovery" and "Resolution", dispatched by King George III to seek the Northwest Passage above the American continent so the British might engage in fruitful trade with the far east. Captain Cook would spend time in Port Fidalgo repairing the "Resolution" and trading with the nearby village of Tatitlek before leaving the Sound.
In 1786, a English fur trader named John Meares commanding the vessel "Nootka", took refuge during a violent storm in one of Port Fidalgo's bays, Snug Corner Cove. The promise of more pelts and the lateness of the season encouraged Meares to winter in the Sound. He considered the protection provided by Snug Corner to be insufficient and moved the "Nootka" further into Port Fidalgo to Sunny Cove. Meares found the cove anything but sunny during the winter and complained about the low sun disappearing behind the high peaks to the south.
Here, frozen into the freshwater ice, he and his men spent a hellish winter. The Natives, although friendly, were able to provide them with very little food and had the disconcerting habit of carrying off every piece of iron they could find, even prying loose nails from the ship's deck with their teeth. During the winter, scurvy ravaged the crew. Meares and some of his crew protected themselves from this dreaded disease by chewing the unfamiliar tasting conifer needles which are rich in vitamin C. By spring, the Natives were able to provide them with food, but not before twenty-three of the stubborn seamen who had refused to chew conifer needles had perished from scurvy.
In 1790 the Spanish explorer named Captain Fidalgo would sail to Prince William Sound, cruising the east coast. He would later give the names to the Sounds two major towns, Puerto de Valdez and Puerto de Cordova. Fidalgo returned home telling of his adventures and one strange story of visiting what is now known as Columbia Glacier and "the floating snowbanks" or icebergs.
In 1791, Captain George Vancouver, who served under Cook during his second and third voyages, was commissioned by England to find a Northwestern passage around the American continent. He would spend three summers exploring the inside waters of British Columbia and Alaska. During his visit to Prince William Sound, he named Port Fidalgo after Captain Fidalgo in honor of the great Spanish explorer.
1785-1867 would be a period of Russian dominance as fur traders settled several trading posts throughout the Sound. They would also establish Russian Orthodox churches, like the beautiful blue domed church that still stands today at the native village of Tatitlek. Located between Port Fidalgo and Port Valdez. The United States would purchase Alaska from Russia in 1867 and officially recognize Alaska as a state in 1959.
Between 1989 and 1915,
the Schlosser Mine was the
area's largest producer with 4,160,820 pounds of copper, 1,384
ounces of silver and unspecified amount of gold (most likely kept
secret for various reasons).
The main ore body was discovered high up on a mountain
side, so the ore had to be taken out using a cable tram system to
the beach. The ore was then stored in a
beach-side warehouse and shipped periodically to Portland Oregon
for smelting. The Schlosser Mine would also
play host to The National Geographic Society Expedition in 1910,
stopping for an extended time to resupply their ship the "Admiral
Watson". Their extensive study of the area's
coastal glaciers would contribute greatly to glaciology in the
future. **Picture of the "Admiral Watson"
docked and Schlosser Mine, below. The property was
given private deed under the 1872 mining law, signed by
President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 10-31-1934. In 2000, the
Federal BLM office conducted an extensive study of mine shafts in
Prince William Sound and deemed the Schlosser Mine to contain PPM
values well below problematic for all the contaminants they tested
for and was given "a clean bill of health". More information
can be given upon request.
The property was given private deed under the 1872 mining law, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 10-31-1934. In 2000, the Federal BLM office conducted an extensive study of mine shafts in Prince William Sound and deemed the Schlosser Mine to contain PPM values well below problematic for all the contaminants they tested for and was given "a clean bill of health". More information can be given upon request.
U.S. Mineral survey #1584