A map of the radio site. Photo courtesy of the collection of the Cordova Historical Society

In 1917, another naval radio site was selected at Mile 14 on the Copper River and Northwestern Railway. A little over 9,000 acres was withdrawn from the public lands in the vicinity and this locale was named after George Hanscom, the civilian master electrician who had identified the site and supervised its development. No roads for teams or automobiles went into the area and all freight to the station had to be shipped over the railroad. The station’s structures were located near the delta of a glacial stream six miles from the Sheridan and Sherman glaciers.

By 1925, the physical plant of the station consisted of a one-story wood operating room and machine shop, a reinforced concrete powerhouse, two one-and-a-half-story cottages for married personnel, a single one-story cottage, wood and steel corrugated barracks, water, heating and sewer systems including a heating plant, a gasoline pump house, a depot on the railroad and numerous sheds, storage tanks, a wood walk and outhouses for when the high water put the septic out of commission.

Mile 14 was a sending station, and a companion site was developed to serve as a receiving and control station for the Hanscom transmitters. This second site was located at Mile 7.5 of the railroad and became known as the Eyak station, named after the Native people of the area. More in next week’s Cordova Times about the Mile 7 station.