Copper was discovered between the Kennicott Glacier and McCarthy Creek in 1900, after which Kennecott mines, Kennecott Mining Company, and company town of Kennecott were created. Partly because alcoholic beverages and prostitution were forbidden in Kennecott, McCarthy grew as an area to provide illicit services not available in the company town.
It grew quickly into a major town with a gymnasium, a hospital, a school, a bar and a brothel. In 1938, the copper deposits were gone and the town was mostly abandoned. However, over $200 million in ore was extracted from the mine, making it the richest concentration of copper ore in the world.