Weekly Rundown

All about Ketchikan, Volume One.

Well, I’m here. I might as well post some information that I’ve found interesting.

The City of Ketchikan, AK sits on Revillagigedo Island, which is about 89 km (50 mi) long from north to south and 48 km (35 mi) wide from east to west, making it the 12th largest island in the United States and the 167th largest island in the world.

The island is separated from the Alaska mainland to the east by Behm Canal, from Prince of Wales Island to the west by the Clarence Strait, and from Annette Island to the south by Revillagigedo Channel and Nichols Passage.¹

There are two cities on the Island, Ketchikan and Saxman. The name Ketchikan was chosen as the creek which flows through town is Ketchikan Creek. It was named for Kitsch, a Tlingit native who claimed the section of creek for fishing. Kitsch-hen was anglicized to Ketchikan, as the Tlingit didn’t have a formal written language. Hen translates to creek, and Kitsch to “the thundering wings of an eagle”.² Aptly, bald eagles fly and nest along the coast up and down the Southwestern shore.

The other city, Saxman, is famous for its totem poles. It has the largest collection of standing poles in the world, which is impressive as the Saxman is only one square mile.³ Many of Saxman’s totems were apparently stolen in the late 1800s during the Harriman Expedition, which I’m currently researching.

Chief Kashakes House in Saxman
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revillagigedo_Island
  2. http://www.firstalaskacruise.com/ketchikan-historical-highlights.html
  3. https://alaskatrekker.com/places-go/saxman-alaska/