A rare electric locomotive used to haul ore in the Alaska-Gastineau mine near Juneau in the early 1900s, slated to be on permanent display in the new State Library, Archives and Museum building, will be the focus of a joint lecture that will be held at the Alaska State Museum at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9. The free presentation will be led by Kyle Watt, Curator of the California State Railroad Museum, and industrial preservation specialist Randy Hees.
According to mine historian David Stone, the electric locomotive was one of two built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Alaska Gastineau mine in 1914. The Alaska-Gastineau mine, located in the Sheep Creek valley just south of Juneau, used them to haul ore from 13 underground levels of the mine to the processing facilities located at Thane. The locomotives had a low-profile design to allow use underground, and were powered by two 90-horsepower electric Westinghouse motors with electricity supplied through a cable system. The use of electric locomotives was innovative at the time and helped the mine become an industry model of efficiency and low-cost operation.
Photographs of the locomotive in operation, complete blueprints of all the parts, and service documentation is preserved in the Alaska State Library Historical Collection — part of an extensive archive of mining in the Juneau area donated by the Alaska Electric Light and Power Company.
For more information, call 465-2901 or visit www.museums.alaska.gov.