Just as people planning their vacations today must decide between time
spent travelling and time spent exploring an area, so the gold rushers
had to decide when to start prospecting and when to rush on in hopes of
finding a better site
For many, Lake Klutina marked the end of their travels. After having spent weeks on the glacier, the prospectors were especially susceptible to Lake Klutina's charms. Writing home in the fall of 1898, Lilian Moore described Lake Klutina: "When I got the head of the Lake it was as far as I wanted to go. It is a beautiful place and is called 'God's Country.' Over there it never rains. The mountains are covered with flowers and berries. You never saw such large currants, black and red raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, all kinds of fruit; the loveliest sweet peas and forget-me-nots: and talk about scenery -- it is something grand!"
The alternative of rafting down the rapid-strewn Klutina River past the Devil's Elbow and through Hell's Gate seemed far less attractive.
Some gold rushers set up their heavy tents at permanent camps. From here they spread out prospecting the numerous creeks.
Others began businesses. The San Jose Boys built a two masted schooner to transport prospectors and their supplies to the foot of the lake. Doc Ottawa, who had sledded a 14 ft. boat and small engine across the glacier, also ran a prosperous business on the lake.
Both Anna Barrett and an unnamed German woman established restaurants at Klutina City near the lake's outlet where around 350 prospectors were camped. Capt. Abercrombie named St. Anne Lake and creek after Anna Barrett who was known for her hospitality and berry pies.
Today's visitors will find only faint traces of the bustling activity that surrounded the shores of Lake Klutina in the summer of 1898.