Born of high hopes upon the discovery of oil in 1902, Katalla was deemed a city of the future. Enthusiastic developers drilled oil wells that would sustain the town for more than 30 years.
In addition, nearby coal deposits and the promise of a railroad from Katalla to the rich copper fields in the Wrangell Mountains generated at least as much excitement as the oil. But the seemingly ideal combination of coal, copper and crude did not result in the bustling metropolis that boosters so confidently predicted.
In the end, despite the close attention of both the federal government and, for a brief and frantic period, some of the most powerful business interests in the world, Katalla has almost completely disappeared. But for a few years, it looked as if Katalla might live up to its great expectations.
This photo came from the archives and collections of the Cordova Historical Society housed within the museum. The museum is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
In the Copper River Gallery – The annual Iceworm Photo Show