In 1889, a group of gold miners searched for a name to call their fast growing community of prospectors. It was agreed that the town would be named for the next soul to step off one of the boats shuttling newcomers to the area. Along came young Percy Hope, and an Alaskan town was born. For the early settlers, a more appropriate name could not exist. Hope was what drove most of those pioneers here in the first place. They flocked to the area for a stake in Resurrection Creek gold.
Hope enjoyed its heyday long before Anchorage was even founded. When the news of the discovery of gold in Six Mile Creek in 1895 reached Seattle it set off one of Alaska’s first gold rushes and within a year more than 3,000 stampeders were headed for this slice of the Kenai Peninsula. The community was soon a thriving commercial center with stores, hotels, social halls, community councils, post offices and saloons. Hope’s heyday was short-lived. By 1898, news of the famous Klondike Gold Rush in Canada’s Yukon had spread and most miners in Hope packed up for the Klondike. Among the original buildings still in use is the Hope Social Hall, which was built in 1902.
Hope is located 87 miles south of Anchorage on the scenic Seward Highway. Gold rush buildings still charm downtown Hope. The log social hall built in 1902 still serves as the gathering place for community meetings, weddings, dances, and other events.
Visiting this town is like going back in time. It's also the best smelling town I've ever been in! The flowers were in full bloom everywhere leaving a fragrance in the air that was amazing!
Next time we visit, we're taking our gold pans!