Museum Memories

The East Coast-based Alaskan Syndicate struggled with their Katalla route. Open to the Gulf of Alaska and its fierce weather, the docks and breakwaters the crews constructed were continually breached and broken with the heavy relentless fall storms. A political storm hurt their efforts as well in November of 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt closed the Bering River Coal fields from development, eliminating another source of revenue the Syndicate had counted on. Finally, a huge winter storm destroyed the Katalla sea wall, dooming the site as a safe and reliable port. In early 1907, the Syndicate abandoned the Katalla terminus and hired Heney as general contractor for constructing the railroad.

This photo is from the Cordova Historical Society collection held in the Museum.