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Trip Planner USA  /  Alaska  /  Denali National Park and Preserve  /  Cantwell

Cantwell

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Fishing Charters & Tours · Safaris · Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cantwell was a railway flag stop at the junction with the Denali Highway. The original town is off the Parks Highway. It is a census-designated place in Denali Borough, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 219.Cantwell is the western terminus of the Denali Highway.HistoryCantwell is named after Lieutenant J. C. Cantwell, military explorer and commander of the revenue steamer Corwin on the Yukon River, 1898-1900. Prior to the settlement, the only inhabitants of the Cantwell area were nomadic Tanana Indians and Athabascan Native Alaskans who hunted and fished. In their language they named Cantwell Yede'teni'na. The town began as a flag stop on the Alaska Railroad. This flagstop supplied the Valdez Creek mining area, which had the name "Denali" for the Valdez Creek community. Many Indians from the village of Tyone came to work at Valdez Creek and later lived out their lives in the Cantwell area. Many Tyones are buried in the old Cantwell graveyard, next to the railroad tracks. Oley Nicklie, a Native Alaskan, sought work with the railroad after fur prices dropped. He and his two brothers then founded part of the settlement. Cantwell is 20 miles away from a giant abandoned igloo shaped hotel, which is not made out of ice.
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