McCarthy, Alaska

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McCarthy is a census-designated place (CDP) in Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 42 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography and location

McCarthy is 193 km (120 miles) northeast of Cordova at the foot of the Wrangell Mountains. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP of McCarthy has a total area of 148.3 square miles (384.0 km²). None of the area is covered with water. It is connected to the outside world via the McCarthy Road spur of the Edgerton Highway to Chitina, and must be passed through to reach Kennecott, a destination of tourists seeking access to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 42 people, 26 households, and 6 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 0.3 people per square mile (0.1/km²). There were 47 housing units at an average density of 0.3/sq mi (0.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 100.00% White.

There were 26 households out of which 15.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 15.4% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 73.1% were non-families. 53.8% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.62 and the average family size was 2.14.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 9.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 47.6% from 45 to 64, and 4.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 147.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 153.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $17,188, and the median income for a family was $20,000. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,045. There were no families and 15.2% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and none of those over 64.

History

For centuries, Athabascans hunted in the area of McCarthy. Chief Nikolai and his band of Athabaskan Natives had a summer camp at Dan Creek, 15 miles east of McCarthy, where they collected copper nuggets from Dan Creek. Their permanent camp was on the Copper River at the village of Taral near Chitina where they fished for salmon.

Copper was discovered in Kennecott Mountain near neighboring Kennicott in 1900. The mines and the company town of Kennicott were built by the Kennecott Mining Company quickly after the discovery. Partly because alcoholic beverages and prostitution were forbidden in Kennicott, McCarthy grew as an area to provide illicit services not available in the company town. It grew quickly into a major town with a gymnasium, a hospital, a school, a bar and a brothel. The Copper River and Northwestern Railway reached McCarthy in 1911.

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