Located in the heart of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, McCarthy and Kennicott have a colorful past. The cities began around 1900 when copper ore was discovered in the area. With the creation of the Kennecott Mines Company six years later, the town quickly grew to over 500 people. A hospital, store, grade school, dental office, dairy, and recreation hall were built. The nearby town of McCarthy was also growing at the same time. With a population of nearly 800, the town offered restaurants, pool halls, hotels, saloons, two newspapers, a dress shop, a photography shop, garage and auto repair shop, shoe shop, and hardware store. With the closure of the Kennecott Copper Corporation in 1938, train service ceased and most residents left.
Today, McCarthy and much of Kennicott are privately owned, with about 50 year-round residents. With unique accommodations at both the Ma Johnson Hotel, part of McCarthy Lodge and at Kennicott Glacier Lodge you have a great base for exploring Wrangell-St. Elias National Park