The Mooring Lodge in Yakutat Alaska
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Yakutat and Southern Railroad

The somewhat mysterious Yakutat and Southern Railroad was unique in that it was the only railroad of its time that had little or no association with the mining industry - its principle commodity being salmon in season, transported from Monti Bay, the port at Yakutat, to the Alsek River at Dry Bay.

In 1904 year, ten miles of 40-pound rail was laid from Yakutat to the Situk River and a cannery was built. In 1905, the cannery had a capacity of 50,000 cases of salmon a year.

The railroad took on a new dimension during the latter part of 1940 when the U.S. Army negotiated with the Libby Canning Company for permission to utilize the railroad for transportation of goverment materials. The Army used the railroad from October 1940 until late April 1941 to haul construction materials for the airfield and garrison.The Yakutat and Southern Railroad, which had served the Army well, was then retired from military service.

In its heyday, the little railroad was perhaps the greatest single contribution to the economic growth and development of the small town of Yakutat, Alaska.


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