Girdwood Guest House

Bed & Breakfast
History of Girdwood

Gold Rush mining community to World Class Ski Resort

Alyeska has a fascinating history. James Girdwood, an Irish immigrant and linen merchant staked 4 gold claims on Crow Creek in 1900. Soon afterwards, several claims were staked in the California and Virgin Creek drainages. At the mouth of the Valley a supply camp arose. Originally called Glacier City it was later renamed Girdwood after James Girdwood. Another mine on Crow Creek located below Girdwood's claims and about 5 miles from the town was operated by the Crow Creek Mining Company from 1906 to 1924, when it was purchased by Arne Erickson. This mine is still in operation and run by the Toohey family as a popular attraction for locals and tourists that want to try their hand at panning for gold.

Though founded as a mining town, the development of Girdwood was spurred by railroad construction which was begun by the Federal Government in 1915. The little town boomed with n