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Ketchikan Area Information
Ketchikan's History    Things to do in Ketchikan    Fishing   More Lodging in Ketchikan

Ketchikan is well known as the salmon capital of the world and a paradise for sport fishermen and naturalists alike. During the summer months, our town bustles with visitors from all over the world. While the rustic boardwalk on Creek Street preserves a distinct historic feel, the town hums with new construction to keep up with the ever-expanding wave of tourism.

Ketchikan has a population of 14,500 and is built along a steep hillside, with sections of the town built right over the water on pilings. An outstanding collection of totem poles make a visit to Ketchikan essential for anyone interested in Native art. Ketchikan's name supposedly comes from the native term "Katch Kanna", which roughly translates: "spread wings of a thundering eagle" and rightly named, for you only need to look along the water line and you're likely to see many bald eagles on waterside perches.

Our beautiful town is located on the western coast of Revillagigedo Island, near the southernmost boundary of Alaska. It is 679 miles north of Seattle and 235 miles south of Juneau. The 2.2 million acre Misty Fjords National Monument lies 22 air miles east of Ketchikan. Ketchikan is the first Alaska port of call for northbound cruise ships and State ferries. The area encompasses 3 sq. miles of land and 1 sq. miles of water. The area lies in the maritime climate zone noted for its warm winters, cool summers, and heavy precipitation. Summer temperatures range from 51 to 65; winter temperatures range from 29 to 39. Ketchikan averages 162 inches (13.5 feet) of precipitation annually, including 32 inches of snowfall.

Established originally as a fishing camp, Ketchikan today bustles with activity. Ketchikan almost seems today like it had been built for its many visitors. The Ketchikan Airport is located on its own island, Gravina Island. From Ketchikan's airport it is a short ferry ride across Tongass Narrows to the city of Ketchikan. We also welcome one or more Alaska State Ferries nearly everyday and cruise ships grace our harbor from May through September. On a busy day, we could have as many as 6 large cruise ships at a time in our harbor.

Ketchikan's History dates back to 1883, when a man named Snow built a salmon saltery. Two years later, businessmen from Portland, Oregon, hired Mike Martin to investigate possibilities for building a salmon cannery on the banks of Ketchikan Creek. By the early 1900's, Martin and the cannery's manager, George Clark, had set up a partnership and had opened a saltery and a general store. Two years later, with the fishing trade flourishing, Ketchikan was definitely in business. And by 1900, with a population of 800, the town was officially incorporated.

With mining activities beginning in the area, Ketchikan became an important trading community, with an estimated two-thirds of miners' wages reportedly ending up in the bars and bordellos of Creek Street. Despite a mining decline, the fishing industry and timber operations began to grow with establishment of the Ketchikan Spruce Mills early in the century. In 1954, Ketchikan Pulp Mill was completed at nearby Ward Cove, assuring jobs not only in town, but in the surrounding woods as well. Today, the logging industry has nearly disappeared and Ketchikan is now starting to focus on another mainstay, tourism.


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Mailing Address:
Anchor Inn by the Sea
4672 South Tongass Hwy
Ketchikan, AK 99901 USA

Phone: 1.907.247.7117

Email: mary@AnchorInnByTheSea.com

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Last update was on 02/26/20