History & Culture
Long before the present national park, the Huna Tlingit people lived in Glacier Bay. Among the evidence of their traditional activities are trees that were stripped of their bark for a variety of uses. You can read more about these trees, which are still growing around the lagoon in Bartlett Cove, by clicking on the picture.
William S. Cooper of the University of Minnesota conducted studies of plant succession beginning in 1916, and was instrumental in the move to have the area protected. Here you can read Dr. Cooper’s first-person account of his intensive lobbying effort, which met many obstacles but was ultimately successful. Cooper also details his losing fight to prohibit mining in the newly created national monument.
Jim Mackovjak's 170 page analysis of the history of fishing in Glacier Bay. Learn about the early canneries, and development of the industry, followed by establishment of the park and ultimately the end of commercial fishing and compensation to those who made a living off of the sea.
Did You Know?
When Captain George Vancouver surveyed Southeast Alaska in 1794, the wall of ice that filled the bay was (at its greatest extent) 100 miles long, 20 miles wide, and 4,000 feet thick. Just 250 years later, this same ice has retreated 65 miles, the fastest glacial retreat on record.