New Year Islands, Drier Bay

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The New Year Islands are at the mouth of Drier Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Drier Bay is on the west coast of Knight Island, on the east side of Knight Island Passage, and about 18 miles (29 km) north-northeast of Chenega Bay village on Evans Island. A lot of prospecting was done on Knight Island in 1906 and 1907, and much of this was in near Drier Bay.

The Knights Island Consolidated Copper Company, locally known as the Hubbard-Elliott Company, built a wharf, offices, ore bunkers, and a steam-power plant at the northeast corner of Drier Bay. Work was done on a number of claims but the main development was on two tunnels called the Monarch and the Bald Eagle. The former was 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northeast of the dock and about 600 feet (183 m) above sea level. Here some 350 feet (107 m) of tunnel work was done. The Bald Eagle tunnel was about 900 feet (274 m) above sea level and .75 mile (1.2 km) northeast of the dock. The tunnel was connected to the dock with a wire-rope aerial tramway, but this was damaged by a snow slide in the early part of 1908.

The prospect of the Russell Ball Copper Company was located on the south side of Drier Bay, between Barnes Cove and Mallard Bay. The company had located six claims, four on Drier Bay and two over the ridge from Drier Bay The property on Drier Bay was developed by four tunnels with a wire-rope aerial tram operated by a windlass rigged from the upper tunnel to the shore. This tunnel was 520 feet (158 m) above sea level. Mineral outcroppings were also found higher at an altitude of about 1,000 feet (305 m), but these were usually covered by snow. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of New Year Islands and Drier Bay here:


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