August 1900, a couple of prospectors, spotted a green patch of hillside that looked like it would be good feeding for their pack horses. The green turned out to be part of a mountain of copper ore. Kennicott Glacier in the valley below the mine was named after Robert Kennicott, a naturalist who explored in Alaska in the mid-1800s is where the mines got their name from. A mistake was apparently made on some paperwork when the Kennecott Mining Company was formed, forever spelling it with an “e”.
Go figure, spelling had its issues way back then 🙂
Kennecott had five mines: Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode, Erie and Glacier – open pit mining so it only happened in summer. The mine and much of the surrounding area became a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and a part of the National Park Service in 1998.