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City and Borough of Sitka
—  City and Borough  —
View toward Sitka from the Pacific Ocean. Sitka is the only town in Southeast Alaska that faces the Gulf of Alaska head-on.

Seal
Coordinates: 57°3′10″N 135°19′54″W / 57.05278°N 135.33167°W / 57.05278; -135.33167
Country United States
State Alaska
Colonized 1799
Incorporated December 2, 1971
Government
 - Mayor Scott McAdams
Area
 - Total 4,811.5 sq mi (12,461.8 km2)
 - Land 2,874.0 sq mi (7,443.6 km2)
 - Water 1,937.6 sq mi (5,018.2 km2)
Elevation 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2005)[1]
 - Total 8,986
 Density 3.13/sq mi (1.21/km2)
Time zone Alaska (UTC-9)
 - Summer (DST) Alaska (UTC-8)
ZIP 99835
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-70540
GNIS feature ID 1414736
Website www.cityofsitka.com

The City and Borough of Sitka is a unified city-borough located on the west side of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated population of 8,986 in 2005,[1] Sitka is the fourth-largest city by population in Alaska.

The name Sitka (derived from Sheet’ká, a contraction of the Tlingit name Shee At'iká[2]) means "People on the Outside of Shee," Sheet’-ká X'áat'l (often expressed simply as Shee) being the Tlingit name for Baranof Island.

Contents

History

Sitka was originally settled by the native Tlingit people. Old Sitka was founded in 1799 by Alexandr Baranov, the governor of Russian America. Baranov arrived under the auspices of the Russian-American Company, a "semi-official" colonial trading company chartered by Tsar Paul I. In 1802 a group of Tlingit destroyed the original establishment known as Redoubt Saint Michael (an area today called the "Old Sitka") and killed most of the Russian inhabitants. Baranov was forced to levy 10,000 rubles in ransom for the safe return of the surviving settlers.

Gajaa Héen (Old Sitka), circa 1827. The new Russian palisade atop "Castle Hill" (Noow Tlein) that surrounded the Governor's Residence had three watchtowers, armed with 32 cannons, for defense against Tlingit attacks.

Baranov returned to Sitka in 1804 with a large contingent of Russians and Aleuts with the Russian warship Neva. The ship bombarded the Tlingit fort but was not able to cause significant damage. The Russians then launched an attack on the fort and were repelled by Tlingit fighters and marksmen. However, the Tlingit gunpowder reserves had been lost before the Russian assault and the Tlingit were forced to leave the fort. Following their victory at the Battle of Sitka the Russians established a permanent settlement in the form of a fort, named Novoarkhangelsk (or New Archangel, a reference to Arkhangelsk, the largest city in the region where Baranov was born). The Tlingit reestablished a fort on the Chatham Strait side of Peril Strait to enforce a trade embargo with the Russian establishment. In 1808, with Baranov still governor, Sitka was designated the capital of Russian America.

Cathedral of St. Michael, the seat of the Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands, and Alaska was built in Sitka in 1848.

The original church burnt to the ground in 1966, but was restored to its original appearance, with the deliberate exception of its clockface, which is black in photographs taken prior to 1966, but white in subsequent photos.

Bishop Innokentii of the Russian Orthodox Church lived in Sitka after 1840. He was known for his interest in education, and his house, parts of which served as a schoolhouse, the Russian Bishop's House has since been restored by the National Park Service. Swedes and Finns were both important parts of the Russian empire, and the Sitka Lutheran Church, built in 1840, was the first Protestant church on the Pacific Coast. After the transition to American control with the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867, influence of other Protestant religions increased, and St. Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church was consecrated as "The Cathedral of Alaska" in 1900. There are twenty two buildings and sites in Sitka that appear in the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

Sitka was the site of the ceremony in which the Russian flag was lowered and the United States flag raised after Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867 after the sea otter pelt trade died out. The flag lowering and raising event is re-enacted in Sitka every October 18 (Alaska Day). After the original ceremony, the entire U.S. government presence in Alaska until the Klondike Gold Rush consisted of a single customs inspector on the island. Sitka would serve as the capital of the Alaska Territory until 1906, when the seat of government was relocated north to Juneau. The state's first newspaper, The Sitka Times, was published by Barney O. Ragan on September 19, 1868.

While gold mining and fish canning paved the way for the town's initial growth, it wasn't until World War II, when the Navy constructed an air base on Japonski Island (bringing 30,000 service personnel to the area), that Sitka finally came into its own. Today Sitka encompasses portions of Baranof Island and the smaller Japonski Island (across the Sitka Channel from the town), which is connected to Baranof Island by the O'Connell Bridge. The O'Connell Bridge was the first cable-stayed bridge built in the Western Hemisphere. Japonski Island is home to Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (IATA:SIT, ICAO:PASI), the Sitka branch campus of the University of Alaska Southeast, Mt. Edgecumbe High School — a state-run boarding school for rural Alaskans, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, a U.S. Coast Guard air station, and the port and facilities for the USCGC Maple.

The home rule charter of the City and Borough of Sitka was adopted on 2 December 1971[4] for the region of the Greater Sitka Borough, which was incorporated on 24 September 1963.[5]

Geography

A view of Sitka's Crescent Harbor, Indian River valley and, in the background, The Sisters.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough is the second largest incorporated city by area in the U.S, with a total area of 4,811.5 square miles (12,461.8 km²). 2,874.0 square miles (7,443.6 km²) of it is land and 1,937.6 square miles (5,018.2 km²) of it, or 40.27%, is water. Yakutat is the largest incorporated area in the U.S.

Sitka displaced Juneau, Alaska as the largest incorporated city in the United States upon the 2000 incorporation with 2,874 square miles (7,440 km2) of incorporated area. Juneau's incorporated area is 2,717 square miles (7,040 km2). Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest city in area in the contiguous 48 states at 758 square miles (1,960 km2).

Climate

  • Sitka has a subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen classification Cfc) with relatively moderate temperatures and abundant precipitation.
  • Average annual rainfall is 86 inches (2,200 mm); annual average snowfall is 39 inches (990 mm).
  • The average high temperature in August is 62 °F (17 °C), and the average low temperature in January is 30 °F (−1 °C).
Climate data for Sitka, Alaska
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
(16)
63
(17)
65
(18)
79
(26)
85
(29)
86
(30)
87
(31)
86
(30)
82
(28)
70
(21)
64
(18)
64
(18)
87
(31)
Average high °F (°C) 38
(3.3)
42
(5.6)
45
(7.2)
50
(10)
55
(12.8)
59
(15)
62
(16.7)
63
(17.2)
60
(15.6)
51
(10.6)
43
(6.1)
39
(3.9)
51
(10.6)
Average low °F (°C) 27
(-2.8)
28
(-2.2)
30
(-1.1)
34
(1.1)
39
(3.9)
44
(6.7)
49
(9.4)
49
(9.4)
44
(6.7)
38
(3.3)
32
(0)
29
(-1.7)
37
(2.8)
Record low °F (°C) -8
(-22)
-4
(-20)
-5
(-21)
6
(-14)
23
(-5)
23
(-5)
23
(-5)
23
(-5)
23
(-5)
14
(-10)
-3
(-19)
-6
(-21)
-8
(-22)
Rainfall inches (mm) 7.23
(183.6)
6.29
(159.8)
5.93
(150.6)
4.75
(120.7)
4.56
(115.8)
3.32
(84.3)
4.26
(108.2)
6.77
(172)
11.02
(279.9)
13.16
(334.3)
9.83
(249.7)
8.74
(222)
85.86
(2,180.8)
Snowfall inches (mm) 10.0
(254)
8.3
(210.8)
7.3
(185.4)
1.3
(33)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.3
(7.6)
3.5
(88.9)
8.7
(221)
39.3
(998.2)
Source: http://www.weather.com/outlook/driving/interstate/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USAK0224 February 14, 2010
Source #2: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?aksitk February 14, 2010

Geology

Mount Edgecumbe, a 3,200-foot-tall dormant stratovolcano, is located on southern Kruzof Island. It can be seen on a clear day from Sitka.

Adjacent boroughs and census areas

National protected areas

Economy

In 2008, Sitka's two largest employers were the South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), employing 489 people, and the Sitka School District, employing 285 people. In 2005, after government and health industries, the seafood industry accounted for 13% of the jobs in Sitka and the tourism industry hired 11% of Sitka's workforce. Many Sitkans hunt and gather subsistence foods such as fish, deer, berries, seaweeds and mushrooms.[6]

In 2007, Sitka had a total labor force of 4,679. The per capita income in 2005 was $33,115.[6]

Sitka's power is generated by dams at Blue Lake and Green Lake, with supplemental power provided by burning diesel if usage exceeds the supply of water left in the lakes in the Spring.

Port

Sitka was the busiest seaport on the west coast of North America, as evidenced by Dana in his popular account of an 1834 sailing voyage, Two Years Before the Mast. Currently, Sitka is the 6th largest port by value of seafood harvest in the United States.[6] International trade is relatively minor, with total exports and imports valued at $474,000 and $146,000, respectively, in 2005 by the American Association of Port Authorities.[7] The port has the largest harbour system in Alaska with 1,347 permanent slips.

Demographics

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 8,835 people, 3,278 households, and 2,219 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3.1 people per square mile (1.2/km²). There were 3,650 housing units at an average density of 1.3/sq mi (0.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 68.50% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 18.57% Native American, 3.79% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 7.53% from two or more races. 3.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 1.87% reported speaking Tlingit at home, while 1.62% speak Tagalog, 1.05% Spanish, and 1.00% Ilokano. [9]

There were 3,278 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.15. In the borough the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.8 males. The median income for a household in the borough was $51,901, and the median income for a family was $62,361. Males had a median income of $40,037 versus $30,319 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,622. About 4.2% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Population of Sitka[10]
Year Population
1900 1,100
1920 1,200
1930 1,100
1940 2,000
1950 2,000
1960 3,200
1970 3,400
1980 7,800
1990 8,600
2000 8,835

Transportation

Sitka's weather and location on the outer coast of the archipelago make transportation inherently difficult, expensive, and inconvenient.

By air, Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport offers service from jet and regional carrier Alaska Airlines and charter and bush community carrier Harris Aircraft Services. Delays in fall and winter due to Sitka's weather are frequent. The airport is located on Japonski Island, which is connected to Baranof Island by the O'Connell Bridge. The O'Connell Bridge, completed in 1972, was the first vehicular cable-stayed bridge in the United States.

Slower ferry travel is provided through the Alaska Marine Highway System. The ferry terminal is located seven miles (11 km) north of downtown. Sitka's location on the outer coast of Alaskan Panhandle is removed from routes run through Chatham Strait. This, in addition to the tides of Peril Straits that allow mainline vessels through only at slack tide combine to result in no designated service by a vessel and minimal service overall. However, the AMHS is often the mode of transportation of choice when the schedule proves convenient because of its much cheaper cost.

Alaska Marine Lines, a barge and freight company, also has the ability to move cars to other communities connected to the mainland by road systems.

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska offers public bus transit in conjunction with the Alaska Department of Transportation.

In 2008, the League of American Bicyclists awarded Sitka the bronze level in bicycle friendliness making Sitka the first bicycle-friendly community in Alaska.

Education

Colleges and universities

Sitka currently hosts one active post-secondary institution, the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus, located on Japonski Island in an old World War II hangar. Sheldon Jackson College, a small Presbyterian-affiliated private college suspended operations in June, 2007, after several years of financial stress.

Schools

The Sitka School District runs several schools in Sitka, including Sitka High School and Pacific High School, as well as the town's only middle school, Blatchley Middle School.

Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a State of Alaska-run boarding high school for rural, primarily Native, students, is located on Japonski Island adjacent to University of Alaska Southeast.

Libraries

Kettleson Memorial Library is the public library for Sitka.

It receives about 100,000 guests annually and houses a collection of 75,000 books, audiobooks, music recordings, reference resources, videos (DVD and VHS) as well as an assortment of Alaskan and national periodicals. Its annual circulation is 133,000.

The library is well-known by visitors for its view. The large windows in front of the reading area look south across Eastern Channel towards the Pyramids.

Until its closing, Sitka was also home to Stratton Library, the academic library of Sheldon Jackson College.

Other

The Alaska State Trooper Academy — the academy for all Alaska State Troopers — is located in Sitka.

Attractions

The Pioneer Home, one of Sitka's many historic structures, in May 2002.

Sitka's many attractions include:

The flora and fauna of Sitka and its surrounding area are also a notable attraction. Day cruises and guided day trips (hiking) are large enterprises in Sitka. Floatplane "flightseeing" excursions are a breathtaking way to view the area's many sights from high above.

Outdoor opportunities

Sitka's unique position of being straddled between the Pacific Ocean and the most mountainous island in the Alexander Archipelago creates an abundant variety of outdoor opportunities:

Looking down Sitka Channel in the early morning.
  • The Baranof Cross-Island Trail, which leads to the small community of Baranof Warm Springs on the eastern side of the island, is a popular summer backpacking trip. Only serious and experienced backpackers, or those with an experienced guide, should undertake such a trip due to volatile weather conditions in the mountains and the required crossings of icefields with crevasses.
  • The dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe is also a popular mountain to summit and features a seven-mile (11 km) trail up to the top. Guided day-trips are available, but the trip does not require much knowledge to undertake.
  • The officially unnamed, but informally named Peak 5390 (the name is derived from its height in feet) is the highest point on Baranof Island and a demanding climb. Few people undertake this peak; those interested should consult with one who has summited previously.
  • Kayaking is a popular activity and small guided day excursions are offered locally. For longer trips, popular destinations include the Baranof Island-located outposts of Goddard hot springs, Baranof Warm Springs, Port Alexander, Port Armstrong, or Port Walter. White Sulphur Hot Springs (on the western side of Chichagof Island) is also a destination for ocean kayakers. For locations closer to Sitka, U.S. Forest Service cabins are popular.
  • There are a number of maintained trails in the Sitka area, many of which are accessible from Sitka's road system. Popular trails include Indian River Trail, Beaver Lake Trail, Mosquito Cove Trail, Harbor Mountain/Gavin Hill Trail, Redoubt Lake Trail, Mount Verstovia Trail, and Shelikof Trail.

Media

Print

Sitka is served by the Daily Sitka Sentinel, one of the remaining few independently-owned daily newspapers in the state. Sitka also receives circulation of the Capital City Weekly — a weekly regional newspaper based out of Juneau.

Radio

The public radio station KCAW and commercial radio stations KIFW and KSBZ fill the airwaves. Low-power FM radio station KAQU-LP 88.1 is owned by the City and Borough of Sitka, and broadcasts whale sounds from a submerged microphone at Whale Park.

Television

KTNL-TV (CBS) broadcasts out of Sitka on Channel 13 (Cable 6) serving Southeast Alaska. Additionally, KSCT-LP (NBC) Channel 5, KTOO (PBS) Channel 10[1], and KJUD (cable-only ABC/CW) serve the region.

Notable residents

A replica of Russian Block House#1 (one of three watchtowers that guarded the stockade walls at Old Sitka) as constructed by the National Park Service in 1962.

Sister cities

Sitka has the following sister city:[11]

In books and films

See also

References

General references

Postcard: Sitka in 1886
Looking past downtown Sitka, up Indian River valley. Probably taken from Castle Hill.
  • Andrews, C.L. (1944). The Story of Alaska. The Caxton Printers, Ltd., Caldwell, OH. 
  • Fedorova, Svetlana G., trans. & ed. by Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly (1973). The Russian Population in Alaska and California: Late 18th Century - 1867. Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. ISBN 0-919642-53-5. 
  • Hope, Herb (2000) "The Kiks.ádi Survival March of 1804." In: Will the Time Ever Come? A Tlingit Source Book, ed. by Andrew Hope III and Thomas F. Thornton, pp. 48–79. Fairbanks, Alaska: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.
  • Naske, Claus-M and Herman E. Slotnick (2003). Alaska: A History of the 49th State. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. ISBN 0-8061-2099-1. 
  • Nordlander, David J. (1994). For God & Tsar: A Brief History of Russian America 1741 - 1867. Alaska Natural History Association, Anchorage, AK. ISBN 0-930931-15-7. 
  • Wharton, David (1991). They Don't Speak Russian in Sitka: A New Look at the History of Southern Alaska. Markgraf Publications Group, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-944109-08-X. 
  • Wilber, Glenn (1993). The Sitka Story: Crown Jewel of Baranof Island. "Land of Destiny"—Alaska Publications, Sitka, AK. 
  • Tlingit Geographical Place Names for the Sheet'ká Kwáan — Sitka Tribe of Alaska, an interactive map of Sitka Area native place names.

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Sitka, Alaska
Official seal of Sitka, Alaska
Seal
Coordinates: 57°3′10″N, 135°19′54″WLatitude: 57°3′10″N
Longitude: 135°19′54″W
Country United States
State Alaska
History  
Colonized 1799
Incorporated December 2, 1971
Government  
 - Mayor Marko Dapcevich
Population  
 - City (2005) 8986
Time zone Alaska (UTC-9)
 - Summer (DST) Alaska (UTC-8)
ZIP 99835
Website: www.cityofsitka.com

The City and Borough of Sitka is a unified city-borough located on the west side of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in the U.S. state of Alaska. Sitka is the state's fourth-largest city by population and the largest city in the United States by area.

The name Sitka (derived from Sheet’ká, a contraction of the Tlingit name Shee At'iká) means "People on the Outside of Shee," Sheet’-ká X'áat'l (often expressed simply as Shee) being the Tlingit name for Baranof Island. The town is sometimes referred to as "Sitka-by-the-Sea."

Contents

History

The area was originally settled by the native Tlingit (Kolosh) Indians. Old Sitka was founded in 1799 by Alexandr Baranov, the governor of Russian America. Baranov arrived under the auspices of the Russian-American Company, a "semi-official" colonial trading company chartered by Tsar Paul I. In 1802 a group of Tlingit destroyed the original establishment known as Redoubt Saint Michael (an area today called the "Old Sitka") and massacred most of the Russian inhabitants. Baranov was forced to levy 10,000 rubles in ransom for the safe return of the surviving settlers.

Gajaa Héen (Old Sitka), circa 1827. The new Russian palisade atop "Castle Hill" (Noow Tlein) that surrounded the Governor's Residence had three watchtowers, armed with 32 cannons, for defense against Tlingit attacks.

Baranov returned to Sitka in 1804 with a large contingent of Russians and Aleuts aboard the Russian warship Neva. The ship bombarded the natives' village, forcing the Tlingits to retreat into the surrounding forest. Following their victory at the Battle of Sitka the Russians established a permanent settlement in the form of a fort, named "Novoarkhangelsk" (or "New Archangel", a reference to Arkhangelsk, the largest city in the region where Baranov was born). In 1808, with Baranov still governor, Sitka was designated the capital of Russian America.

Bishop Innokentii of the Russian Orthodox Church lived in Sitka after 1840. The Russian Bishop's House has since been restored by the National Park Service. The steady influx of American settlers eventually caused the predominant religious influence to sway from Russian to Western European. The Sitka Lutheran Church, built in 1840, was the first Protestant church on the Pacific Coast. The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Michael was founded in 1848, and St. Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church was consecrated as "The Cathedral of Alaska" in 1900. There are twenty two buildings and sites in Sitka that appear in the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Sitka was the site of the ceremony in which the Russian flag was lowered and the United States flag raised after Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1867 after the sea otter pelt trade died out. The flag lowering and raising event is re-enacted in Sitka every October 18 (Alaska Day). After the original ceremony, the entire U.S. government presence in Alaska until the Klondike Gold Rush consisted of a single customs inspector on the island. Sitka would serve as the capital of the Alaska Territory until 1906, when the seat of government was relocated north to Juneau. The state's first newspaper, The Sitka Times, was published by Barney O. Ragan on September 19, 1868.

While gold mining and fish canning paved the way for the town's initial growth, it wasn't until World War II, when the Navy constructed an air base on Japonski Island, (with its 30,000 service personnel) that Sitka finally came into its own. Today Sitka encompasses portions of Baranof Island and the smaller Japonski Island (across the Sitka Channel from the town), which is connected to Baranof Island by the O'Connell Bridge. Japonski Island is home to Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (IATA:SIT, ICAO:PASI), the Sitka branch campus of the University of Alaska Southeast, the Mt. Edgecumbe High School — a state-run boarding school for rural Alaskans, the Indian Health Service regional hospital SEARHC (SouthEast Alaska Regional Healthcare Center), a U.S. Coast Guard air station, and the port and facilities for the USCGC Maple.

The Home Rule Charter of the City and Borough of Sitka was adopted on the 2nd of December, 1971[2] for the region of the Greater Sitka Borough, which was incorporated on the 24th of September, 1963.[3]

Geography

A view toward Sitka from the Pacific Ocean. Sitka is the only town in Southeast Alaska that faces the Gulf of Alaska "head-on."

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough is the largest incorporated area in the U.S, with a total area of 12,461.8 km² (4,811.5 mi²). 7,443.6 km² (2,874.0 mi²) of it is land and 5,018.2 km² (1,937.6 mi²) of it, or 40.27%, is water.

Sitka displaced Juneau, Alaska as the largest city upon the 2000 incorporation with 2,874 square miles of incorporated area. Juneau is 2,717 square miles and was formed through incorporation of the borough and city in 1970. Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in area in the contiguous 48 states at 758 square miles.

  • Average annual rainfall is 86 inches; annual average snowfall is 39 inches.
  • The average high temperature in August is 62 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low temperature in January is 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mount Edgecumbe, a 3,200-foot-tall dormant stratovolcano, is located on southern Kruzof Island. It can be seen on a clear day from Sitka.

Adjacent boroughs and census areas

Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 8,835 people, 3,278 households, and 2,219 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1.2/km² (3.1/mi²). There were 3,650 housing units at an average density of 0.5/km² (1.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough was 68.50% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 18.57% Native American, 3.79% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 7.53% from two or more races. 3.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 1.87% reported speaking Tlingit at home, while 1.62% speak Tagalog, 1.05% Spanish, and 1.00% Ilokano.[4]

A view of Sitka's Crecent Harbor, Indian River valley and, in the background, The Sisters.

There were 3,278 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.15. In the borough the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.8 males. The median income for a household in the borough was $51,901, and the median income for a family was $62,361. Males had a median income of $40,037 versus $30,319 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,622. About 4.2% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Its location on an island makes transportation to and from Sitka inherently difficult, expensive, and inconvenient. By air, Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport offers service from jet and regional carrier Alaska Airlines and charter and bush community carrier Harris Aircraft Services. However, delays due to Sitka's weather are frequent. The much more reliable, but also dramatically slower option for travel is the Alaska Marine Highway System (ferry). The ferry terminal is located seven miles north of downtown but receives very infrequent service due what some consider mismanagement of the schedule system. Sitka's location on the outer coast of Alaskan Panhandle and thus far off mainline routes, and the tides of Peril Strait that allow mainline vessels through only at slack tide compound for no designated service by a vessel and minimal service overall. However, the AMHS is often the mode of transportation of choice when the schedule proves convenient especially for lower income groups because of its much cheaper cost. Alaska Marine Lines, a barge and freight company, also has the ability to move cars to other communities connected to the mainland by road systems. The Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA) offers public transit in conjunction with the Alaska Department of Transportation.

Education

Colleges and universities

Sitka hosts two post-secondary institutions. Sheldon Jackson College is a small Presbyterian-affiliated private college and University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus is located on Japonski Island in an old World War II hangar. Sheldon Jackson College is currently dormant.

Schools

The Sitka School District runs several schools in Sitka, including a principal (Sitka High School) and alternative (Pacific High School) high school as well as the town's only middle school, Blatchley Middle School.

Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a State of Alaska-run boarding high school, is located on Japonski Island adjacent to University of Alaska Southeast.

Libraries

Sitka has two primary libraries, the public library, Kettleson Memorial Library, as well as Sheldon Jackson College's academic library, Stratton Library.

Other

The Alaska State Trooper Academy — the academy for all Alaska State Troopers — is located in Sitka.

The Island Institute sponsors an annual symposium that focuses on current social and ethical topics.

Attractions

The Pioneer Home, one of Sitka's many historic structures, in May 2002.

Sitka's many attractions include:

The flora and fauna of Sitka and its surrounding area are also a notable attraction. Day cruises and guided day trips (hiking) are large enterprises in Sitka. Floatplane "flightseeing" excursions are a breathtaking way to view the area's many sights from high above.

Outdoor opportunities

Further information: List of geographic features on Baranof IslandImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

Sitka's unique position of being straddled between the Pacific Ocean and the most mountainous island in the Alexander Archipelago creates an abundant variety of outdoor opportunities:

Looking down Sitka Channel in the early morning.
  • The Baranof Cross-Island Trail, which leads to the small community of Baranof Warm Springs on the eastern side of the island, is a popular summer hike. Only serious and experienced backpackers, or those with an experienced guide should undertake such a trip due to volatile weather conditions in the mountains and the required crossings of icefields, with crevasses.
  • The dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe is also a popular mountain to summit and features a seven-mile trail up to the top. Guided day-trips are available, but the trip does not require much knowledge to undertake.
  • The officially unnamed, but informally named Peak 5390 (the name is derived from its height in feet) is the highest point on Baranof Island, a demanding but rewarding excursion. Few people undertake this hike; those interested should consult with one who has "summitted" previously.
  • Kayaking is a popular activity and small guided day excursions are offered locally. For longer trips, popular destinations include the Baranof Island-located outposts of Goddard hot springs, Baranof Warm Springs, Port Alexander, Port Armstrong, or Port Walter. White Sulphur Hot Springs (on the western side of Chichagof Island) is also a destination for ocean kayakers. For locations closer to Sitka, Forest Service cabins are popular.
  • For more experienced kayakers, there are many tidewater bays/lakes that offer exhilarating and dangerous whitewater tidal currents.
  • There are a number of maintained trails in the Sitka area, many of which are accessible from Sitka's road system. Some popular trails include the Indian River Trail, Beaver Lake Trail, Mosquito Cove Trail, Harbor Mountain/Gavin Hill Trail, Redoubt Lake Trail, Mount Verstovia Trail, and Shelikof Trail.

Media

Sitka is served by one of the remaining few independently owned daily newspapers in the state in the Sitka Sentinel. The public radio station KCAW and commercial radio stations KIFW and KSBZ fill the airwaves. Sitka also receives circulation of the Capital City Weekly — a weekly regional newspaper based out of Juneau. KTNL-TV (CBS) broadcasts out of Sitka on Channel 13 (Cable 6) serving Southeast Alaska. Additionally, KSCT-LP (NBC) Channel 5, KTOO (PBS) Channel 10[1], and KJUD (cable-only ABC/CW) serve the region.

Notable residents

A replica of Russian Block House #1 (one of three watchtowers that guarded the stockade walls at Old Sitka) as constructed by the National Park Service in 1962.

Sister cities

Further information: List of twin towns and sister cities in the United StatesImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

Sitka has the following sister city:[5]

Trivia

  • The town served as the capital of Russian America until 1867, and was the busiest seaport on the west coast of North America, as evidenced by Dana in his popular account of a 1834 sailing voyage.
  • Sitka has the largest incorporated city limits in the United States, four times the size of the state of Rhode Island.
  • Sitka has the largest harbor system in the State of Alaska.

In books and films

Notes

General references

Postcard: Sitka in 1886
Looking past downtown Sitka, up Indian River valley. Probably taken from Castle Hill.
  • Andrews, C.L. (1944). The Story of Alaska. The Caxton Printers, Ltd., Caldwell, OH. 
  • Fedorova, Svetlana G., trans. & ed. by Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly (1973). The Russian Population in Alaska and California: Late 18th Century - 1867. Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. ISBN 0-919642-53-5. 
  • Hope, Herb (2000) "The Kiks.ádi Survival March of 1804." In: Will the Time Ever Come? A Tlingit Source Book, ed. by Andrew Hope III and Thomas F. Thornton, pp. 48-79. Fairbanks, Alaska: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.
  • Naske, Claus-M and Herman E. Slotnick (2003). Alaska: A History of the 49th State. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. ISBN 0-8061-2099-1. 
  • Nordlander, David J. (1994). For God & Tsar: A Brief History of Russian America 1741 - 1867. Alaska Natural History Association, Anchorage, AK. ISBN 0-930931-15-7. 
  • Wharton, David (1991). They Don't Speak Russian in Sitka: A New Look at the History of Southern Alaska. Markgraf Publications Group, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-944109-08-X. 
  • Wilber, Glenn (1993). The Sitka Story: Crown Jewel of Baranof Island. "Land of Destiny"—Alaska Publications, Sitka, AK. 
  • Tlingit Geographical Place Names for the Sheet'ká Kwáan — Sitka Tribe of Alaska, an interactive map of Sitka Area native place names.

See also

External links

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Sitka, Alaska. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Sitka, AlaskaRDF feed
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Short name Sitka, Alaska  +

This article uses material from the "Sitka, Alaska" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Sitka, Alaska
—  City and borough  —

Sitka, Alaska
Coordinates: 57°3′10″N 135°19′54″W / 57.05278°N 135.33167°W / 57.05278; -135.33167
Country United States
State Alaska
Colonized 1799
Incorporated December 2, 1971
Government
 - Mayor Scott McAdams
Area
 - Total 4,811.5 sq mi (12,461.8 km2)
 - Land 2,874.0 sq mi (7,443.6 km2)
 - Water 1,937.6 sq mi (5,018.2 km2)
Elevation 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2005)[1]
 - Total 8,986
 Density 3.13/sq mi (1.21/km2)
Time zone Alaska (UTC-9)
 - Summer (DST) Alaska (UTC-8)
ZIP 99835
Area code(s) 907
FIPS code 02-70540
GNIS feature ID 1414736
Website www.cityofsitka.com

Sitka is a city in Alaska.

References

  1. "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Alaska" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 21, 2006. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2005-04-02.csv. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 







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