Mt McKinley No. 5

Mt McKinley Lodge No. 5, originally of the Grand Lodge of Washington, first received dispensation to work on October 11, 1910, and was chartered as Mt McKinley Lodge No. 183 on June 14, 1911.

On February 7, 1981, the M.W. Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Alaska opened its Constitutional Communication in Ample Form at 10:30 am. Resolutions were adopted and Mt McKinley Lodge was re-chartered by Grand Lodge of Alaska, the charter for the lodge having been assigned a number according to the ages of the lodges, as Mt McKinley Lodge No. 5.

Mt McKinley No. 5 enjoys a storied history in Prince William Sound and the Copper River Basin as the Masonic Lodge that was built and nurtured by the Masons employed by the Copper River and Northwestern Railway (CR&NW). Mt McKinley’s building is a beautiful memorial to the Alaskan Masons of the early 1900’s.

Contact Information
Phone: (907) 424-7300

PO Box 439
Cordova, AK 99574

Location & Meetings:

Mt McKinley No. 5 meets every odd monthly, on the First Tuesday of the month, at 7:30pm.

It is kindly requested that you contact Mt McKinley No. 5 in advance of your visit to Cordova and the Lodge.

We look forward to seeing you!

Cordova, Alaska

Cordova is a small town located near the mouth of the Copper River, in southeastern Prince William Sound. The community was built on Orca Inlet, at the base of Eyak Mountain. It lies 52 air miles southeast of Valdez and 150 miles southeast of Anchorage. It lies at approximately 60° 33′ N Latitude, 145° 45′ W Longitude (Sec. 28, T015S, R003W, Copper River Meridian). The community is located in the Cordova Recording District. The area encompasses 5 sq. miles of land and 2 sq. miles of water.

The area has historically been the home to Aleut Native people, with the addition of migrating Athabascan and Tlingit natives who called themselves Eyaks. Alaskan Natives of other descents also settled in Cordova. Orca Inlet was originally named “Puerto Cordova” by Don Salvador Fidalgo in 1790. One of the first producing oil fields in Alaska was discovered at Katalla, 47 miles southeast of Cordova, in 1902.

The town of Cordova was named in 1906 by Michael Heney, builder of the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. Cordova became the railroad terminus and ocean shipping port for copper ore from the Kennecott Mine, 65 miles west of the Copper River. The first trainload of ore was loaded onto the steamship Northwestern, bound for a smelter in Tacoma, Washington, in April 1911.

The Bonanza-Kennecott Mines operated until 1938 and yielded over $200 million in copper, silver and gold. The Katalla oil field produced until 1933, when it was destroyed by fire.

The railroad was shut down in 1938 after a workers strike; many of the railroad workers moved away looking for work elsewhere. The Army came in World War II and started the railroad up again while an airfield was built at mile 13. The railroad track past the airport was pulled up and the rails were shipped out to be used elsewhere, as steel was at a premium during the war. Later the remaining track between town and the airport was removed and the rail bed was converted to a road in the 1950’s.

Fishing became the economic base in the early 1940’s.

Various festivals and celebrations take place throughout the year. The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival, hosted by the Cordova Chamber of Commerce, takes place each year in early May. Millions of migrating shorebirds stop in the area to rest and feed before finishing their journey north. The most numerous species such as the western sandpiper, least sandpiper, and dunlin, to name a few. This is a popular time for avid and casual bird watchers to visit. Activities, workshops, and bird watching tours are held throughout the week.

The Cordova Iceworm Festival takes place each February and is an effective way to thwart the winter blues. Activities include a parade, talent show, royal crowning ceremony, and various competitions such as an oyster shucking contest, ping pong tournament, and a survival suit race.

Copper River Wild Salmon Festival takes place in July at the Mt. Eyak ski area and includes various events. The Salmon Jam Music Festival serves as one of the main events, and a fundraiser for Cordova Arts, where local musicians perform followed by professional acts and takes place over the course of Friday and Saturday nights. Taste of Cordova, a wild food and Copper River salmon cook off, usually starts the events. Entries are made with a variety of wild, locally harvested foods and are judged by a panel of guest chefs and food writers. The Alaska Salmon Run starts Saturday morning and include a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, and a 1-mile race on the Copper River Highway. Small Fry activities are educational events for children and families that take place during the races.

The Cordova Historical Museum has exhibits on the Copper River and Northwestern Railway, the local fishing industry, and Alaskan Natives. They also host a juried art show called “Fish Follies”.

The Ilanka Cultural Center museum features exhibits on Eyak, Alutiiq, Ahtna and Tlingit history and contemporary life – including artifacts, photographs, and oral histories. The 24-1/2-foot orca whale, Eyak, is one of only five fully rearticulated orca whale skeletons in the world.

The Cordova Ikumat Alutiiq group was formed in 1995, composed of youth and adults, and is open to anyone who wants to join; the group performs songs from the past as well as original pieces. The Ilanka Cultural Center offers traditional arts and skills still practiced including skin sewing and beadwork; mask, totem, and ivory carving; “putting up” fish and deer; berry-picking and jam-making; and subsistence and commercial fishing. Cordova’s fishermen developed a strong market for salmon, halibut and razor clams (that grw a foot long). Numerous canneries operated in Cordova and air transportation became the vital link between Cordova and the rest of the nation. Fishing became the mainstay industry.

The incorporated city limits were expanded in 1972 when the city annexed the Village of Eyak and again in 1993 with the annexation of 68.23 square miles around Cordova. As Cordova grew, her economy fluctuated as natural and manmade disasters struck throughout the century. The earthquake in 1964 damaged roads and bridges, and raised the ocean floor thereby destroying the razor clam industry. Cannery fires destroyed valuable equipment, fishing boats, and gear stored in warehouses. Numerous fires in the downtown area destroyed buildings and merchandise, as well as homes. Severe storms and avalanches have left their impacts as well.

Over more than a century, Cordovans have displayed their fortitude by picking up the pieces and continuing to make Cordova a great place to live.

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