The Juneau Chamber of Commerce honored Jerry Harmon as its Citizen of the Year at the annual chamber banquet Saturday.
Harmon, a cook, carver of ivory and whalebone, meat cutter, purchasing agent, mine reclamation specialist and general jack-of-all-trades, came to Juneau in 1985 to help Echo Bay Alaska reopen the A-J Mine. Once the backbone of the capital city's economy, the A-J bought out and absorbed the Alaska-Gastineau mine before shutting down operations in 1994.
When Echo Bay pulled out, Harmon spent three years closing the mine in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
A founding member of the Gold Rush Commission, Harmon has served as its chairman longer than anyone. He was instrumental in creating Gold Rush Days. He recovered and restored the first stamp mill used on the Treadwell and A-J mines and placed it at Sandy Beach. The first locomotive to come to Alaska, now in front of the Cook House Restaurant, was rescued by Harmon, a Florida native who moved to Alaska in 1973.
His community service includes stints on the board of the Salvation Army and support for Safe Graduation night for Juneau-Douglas High School seniors.
He and his wife, Beverly, and their four children have developed a historic mine tour at the old Alaska Gastineau Mill site at Thane.