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before 1900, chitina was largely populated by native alaskans whose population was slowly decimated by disease, people, and conflicts. in 1900, a rush of prospectors came to the area when copper ore was discovered along the chitina river valley. stephen birch homesteaded the area in 1908 and it became a thriving community by 1914. by 1938, the mining moved on to glennallen and chitina became a ghost town. alaskans now use the area for dipnetting for salmon every summer.
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