The garnet ledge property was given to the Boy Scouts in 1962 by Fred Hanford, a Wrangell businessman. Because the local scouts could not own property, the ledge was actually deeded to the Southeast Alaska Boy Scout Council in Juneau. Hanford stipulated that the property was to be used for scouting purposes and for the use by Wrangell children.
No fees were to be charged for the use by the local children and if the scouts ceased to use it for scouting purposes or not permit the children of Wrangell to take garnets, it was to revert to the First Presbyterian Church of Wrangell with no conditions on their ownership.
After 44 years, the scouts transfered the property to the First Presbyterian Church. The organization decided that they just could not meet the criteria required by Hanford and acting as the long-distance landlord wasn’t working. Plus, there were changes occuring within the organization.
Currently there are no permits issued to go to the ledge and dig garnets. There are, however, some rules that are expected to be honored by those who do have permission to visit the garnet ledge. They are:
- No dynamite is to be used.
- No hydraulic mining is allowed
- No large piece of equipment is to be used.
Adults are not permitted to go the ledge to dig for garnets for their own use whether commerical or otherwise. Potential visitors should keep in mind that the garnet ledge is private property and as an active mining claim, mining law may come into play when adults are found trespassing.
Now that the property is under local stewardship, it is much easier to maintain control on who visits the location and enforcing the rules of use.
To find out more about visitng the garnet ledge, please contact the church.