Place:Valdez, Valdez-Cordova, Alaska, United States

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NameValdez
Alt namesCopper Citysource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS2023850
Old Valdezsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS2023850
TypeCity
Coordinates61.123°N 146.305°W
Located inValdez-Cordova, Alaska, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Valdez is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976. The city is one of the most important ports in Alaska. The port of Valdez was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The port of Valdez was named in 1790 by the Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A scam to lure prospectors off the Klondike Gold Rush trail led to a town being developed there in 1898. Some steamship companies promoted the Valdez Glacier Trail as a better route for miners to reach the Klondike gold fields and discover new ones in the Copper River country of interior Alaska than that from Skagway. The prospectors who believed the promotion found that they had been deceived. The glacier trail was twice as long and steep as reported, and many men died attempting the crossing, in part by contracting scurvy during the long cold winter without adequate supplies. The town did not flourish until after the construction of the Richardson Highway in 1899, which connected Valdez and Fairbanks. With a new road and its ice-free port, Valdez became permanently established as the first overland supply route into the interior of Alaska. The highway was open in summer-only until 1950, when it was operated as a year-round route.

In 1907, a shootout between two rival railroad companies ended Valdez's hope of becoming the railroad link from tidewater to the Kennicott Copper Mine. The mine, located in the heart of the Wrangell-St.Elias Mountains, was one of the richest copper ore deposits on the continent. The exact location of the right-of-way dispute, in which one man was killed and several injured, is located at the southern entrance of the canyon on the Valdez side. A half-completed tunnel in the canyon marks the end of railroad days in Valdez. A rail line to Kennicott was later established from the coastal city of Cordova.[1]

The city of Valdez was badly shaken but not destroyed in the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake. Liquefaction of the glacial silt that formed the city's foundation led to a massive underwater landslide, which caused a section of the city's shoreline to break off and sink into the sea. The underwater soil displacement caused a local tsunami high that traveled westward, away from the city and down Valdez Bay. Thirty-two men women and children were on the city's main freight dock to help with and watch the unloading of the SS Chena, a supply ship that came to Valdez regularly. All 32 people died as the dock collapsed into the ocean with the violent landslide. There were no deaths in the town.

Residents continued to live there for an additional three years while a new site was being prepared on more stable ground four miles (6 km) away. The new construction was supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. They transported 54 houses and buildings by truck to the new site, to re-establish the new city at its present location. The original town site was dismantled and abandoned.[1]

From 1975-1977, the Trans-Alaska pipeline was built to carry oil from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields in northern Alaska to a terminal in Valdez, the nearest ice-free port. Oil is loaded onto tanker ships for transport. The construction and operation of the pipeline and terminal boosted the economy of Valdez.

The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred as the oil tanker Exxon Valdez was leaving the terminal at Valdez full of oil. The spill occurred at Bligh Reef, about from Valdez. Although the oil did not reach Valdez, it devastated much of the marine life in the surrounding area. The clean-up of the oil caused a short-term boost to the economy of Valdez.

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Valdez, Alaska. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.