11/25/12

Ketchikan, Alaska, USA


About 230 miles south of Juneau, Ketchikan is a community of about 15 000 people. Before the Spanish came in the 1700s, Tongass and Cape Fox Indians fished from the area, and called it "Kitchkim". The name is unknown but believed to be associated with eagles and rivers.
Later explorers saw in here an opportunity for rich fisheries, and the city was built on that foundation. An Irishman named Mike Martin, "bought" 640 acres of land from the Native Alaskans and filed formal incorporation papers to create a city in 1900. During the gold rushes, the town became a supply center for various mining operations, and for a while it was Alaska's largest city.
During World War II, timber became a valuable commodity and Ketchikan became a hub for logging and pulping activities. This industry has fallen recently as the market changed.


In 1930s, the salmon industry was so productive that Ketchikan was known as the "salmon capital of the world".
Ketchikan's downtown shopping district bustles in summer. Visitors stroll along the Creek Street board-walk, raised on pilings next to the boat harbor area, through what was once the red-light district to visit Dolly's House, now a museum, or walk over to the Tongass Historical Museum or the Totem Heritage Center, which houses displays on history, art and Alaska's Native heritage.
The historic city features modern amenities, legendary sport fishing opportunities and a thriving artistic community.
You can watch Native artists carving totems, canoes and masks at Saxman Village, 2 miles south. At  Saxman totem park you can see the famous Abraham Lincoln pole, among others. More historic totems can also be viewed at Totem Bight State Park, 8 miles north Ketchikan.
Ketchikan boasts the largest collection of totems in the world.


What to do and to see:
  • Take a trip to Misty Fjords National Monument
  • Go sport fishing with knowledgeable local charter captains.
  • Check out workshops and lectures on Native art forms and history.
  • Take a wildlife watching flight to hunt for bears and whales with your camera.
  • Go shopping for art or memorabilia on quaint Creek Street.
  • Rent a skiff or a kayak and head out into the waters, maybe to the U.S. Forest Service cabin in the Misty Fjords or on the beach.
  • Raft down the Stikine River.
  • Check out the active arts community: all summer there are new art exhibits and festivals.
  • Special kid´s programs at Totem Bight and Settler's Cove state parks.

Gone fishing!

 
My catch of the day!... a big salmon for dinner!



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