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The Inspiration Point Mine
White Pass, Alaska

by Murray Lundberg


Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it

    Here's a brief introduction to a project that I'm always looking for more information about. This mine is located in the White Pass north of Skagway, Alaska. It is accessed by a lengthy hike across the granite of Mine Mountain, with no hint of a trail visible.

    The mine is only visible from the White Pass & Yukon Route rail line, not from the highway.

    Among the bits of information I have so far is a brief article from The Skagway Alaskan of Wednesday, August 31, 1927. The newspaper was a typed/mimeographed 8x10 sheet that I received a copy of from Judy Munn at the Skagway Museum.

INSPIRATION POINT MINE
HOPES TO BUILD TRAM SOON

    With a considerable tonnage of high-grade shipping ore now on the dump, and approximately two or three carloads of milling ore already mined, the Inspiration Point Mining company hopes to be able to build a one-way tram from the mine to the right-of-way of the White Pass & Yukon Route before the end of the present year or early next spring, according to officials of the company.
    The distance from the head of the shaft at the property to the roadbed at Inspiration Point is 3400 feet.
    The shipping ore, in assay tests, averages $50 to $80.


A 1988 summary of the property by the USGS states:
"12 CLAIMS STAKED IN 1930. LAST ACTIVITY 1962. INACTIVE IN 1976. 15 TONS OF ORE PRODUCED WITH AG, PB, ZN & CU VALUES. IN 1931 COST OF DEVELOPMENT GREATER THAN OWNERS WILLING TO INCUR. FURTHER DEVELOPMENT SLOWED UNTIL ARRANGEMENTS WITH LARGER COMPANY MADE. NO SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY DEVELOPED. 220 FT CROSSCUT, 52 FT INCL. SHAFT, 20 FT VERT. SHAFT & OPENCUTS WHICH DID NOT SHOW EXTENT OF MINERALIZATION. COMPOSED OF SMALL HIGH GRADE LENSES OR ORE POCKETS IN QUARTZ DIORITE. 3325 FT AERIAL TRAM CONNECTED WORKINGS WITH RAILROAD. STANDARD DEPARTMENT OF LABOR STATE OF ALASKA WAGES USED.
This summary, however, misses the period from 1927 when we know that the mining company was active. It does state that the mine was known by other names: Hope, Inspiration Point Mine, Inspiration Mining Company, Lucky Thursday Mine, and Inspiration Point Lead-Zinc Mine.


A 1926 letterhead from the Inspiration Point Mine, White Pass, Alaska     This is a copy of an Inspiration Point Mine letterhead, sent to me by Karl Gurcke of the National Park Service in Skagway. Dated December 1, 1926, it is a request by Secretary-Treasurer C. M. LaRue to have the Alaska-Juneau Mining Company in Juneau test some ore "from the hanging wall at a depth of fifty feet" for gold and silver. These tests are probably the source of the values stated in the newspaper article quoted above.

    The mine's officers in 1926 were:
President: Alfred Nelson
1st Vice-President: John Olsen
2nd Vice-President: Dave Stevenson
Secretary-Treasurer: C. M. LaRue

1926 stcok certificate - Inspiration Point Mine, Alaska     This stock certificate was issued to Mrs. Robert W. Eville on August 14, 1926. It was signed by C. M. LaRue, Secretary, and John P. Olsen, Acting President. In September 2006, I facilitated the donation of the original document to the Skagway Museum by Laura Holcomb-Crouse of Georgia, and took a hi-resolution scan of it during the process.

Ina Eville lived in Skagway from 1917 until 1967. Her husband Robert worked at the WP&YR shops until his death in 1937. Their home at 8th Avenue and Broadway has been restored in recent years.

One of my readers has four certificates, issued in 1927, 1929, 1930, and 1931, for amounts ranging from 400 shares to several thousand shares.

The aerial tramway station at the Inspiration Point Mine, White Pass, Alaska     The tramway terminus and the White Pass Fork of the Skagway River.

The aerial tramway station at the Inspiration Point Mine, White Pass, Alaska     The White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR) rail line and the upper terminus of the aerial tramway.



Visits to the Inspiration Point Mine