Cooper Landing

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Duane and Mayme Ohnemus hosted a wedding reception party June 18 at the community hall for son, Iver, and his bride, Amber. Iver and Amber Mullican were married Jan. 30 in Las Vegas. More than 100 of their family and friends joined in the celebration last week. Jo Cox was in charge of decorating the hall. A Mexican dinner prepared by Jason and Maggie Porter from Hope was served to all the guests. Jan Mitchell, Angie Jones and Carla Britton were the servers.

The party had the feeling of a community and family reunion with many present who grew up with Iver in the 1970s and '80s joining Amber's extended family. Mike and Charlotte Gomez with daughter, Heidi and son, Terry and his daughter greeted old friends. Alaska State Trooper Mike was stationed in Cooper Landing and, with Charlotte and Mayme Ohnemus, they formed a youth club called The Force around 1983. The Force kids worked on community service projects. From shoveling snow in the winter to U.S. Forest Service campground maintenance in the summer.

Rod Fullenwider and Laura Fullenwider Peterkin were members of The Force and present at the party, as was Ricky Holben with his family.

Alyce Hanson with her daughter, Sylve, and husband, Mel Montalbo, were there. Alyce and Noel Hanson were Snail-a-thon beach hosts for years. During one S-A-T picnic, the Hansons' 50th anniversary and Alyce's 75th birthday were celebrated by the community. Sylve was a teacher's aide at Cooper Landing Elementary School. The plans Sylve drew for the community center before the hall was moved across the river in 1979-80 are on display at the museum.

Amber's sister, Autumn Taylor, and friends Justin Hanson, Mike and Felicia Jones offered toasts to the couple before the cake cutting. Iver played basketball and football at Soldotna High School with Justin and Mike. Justin built Iver and Amber's Soldotna house.

After the revelry in and around the community hall, many of the party-goers moved to the shore of Kenai Lake for more fun around the campfire.

The Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners are looking forward to a halibut fry at Jack and Carla Britton's after their cleanup run to the Dumpster sites here and in Hope and Moose Pass next week. Jack will do the chef honors. Jack is so highly regarded by those SSDC that substitute bus driver Mayme Ohnemus was greeted by chants of "We want Jack!" when she drove while the Brittons were on a road trip.

Brown and black bears have been sighted around the Russian River on a moose kill above the power line in that area, on the Slaughter Gulch hill side and on the Cooper Landing side of Summit Lake. Nothing's been seen in the Landing except for a black bear in the Cooper Creek Campground, as far as I know.

A hoary marmot has taken up residence under the Mitchell family hot tub and dining on Jan's pansies, she says.

One more historical tidbit for the road: "Searching For Long Lost Lead," is the story about a gold discovery I heard happened in the Cooper Landing area a long time ago. This story was in the March 9, 1907, Seward Weekly Gateway.

"Years ago a young hunter, part Russian, part Native, set out from Kenai on Cook Inlet, on a hunting trip. His quest for mountain sheep led him to ascend the higher reaches of the mountains. When in the vicinity of the Kenai River, far up on a hill side, the hunter was attracted to a spot which showed a large outcrop of white, crystalline quartz. He picked up a piece and found it to be impregnated with yellow mineral particles ."

"On his return home, he showed the specimen to an old trader, who immediately recognized it as an exceedingly rich rock and desired to return forthwith with the hunter to locate the ledge."

According to the article, the hunter could not stay, but said he would return.

"On getting out of his boat, on arrival at his destination, the hunter's gun was accidentally discharged, and the contents entered the owner's breast from the effects which he died."

"To seek for this lost mine is the mission of a hardy prospector, Joseph Peterson by name, who sailed for the Inlet last fall, equipped with an outfit that would suffice for a year's quest for the lost ledge ."

Thank you.

Mona Painter can be reached by phone at 595-1248 or by email at

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