Administrative History
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Chapter 4:


Totem walk
Totem walk at Sitka National Monument, ca. 1935.
(Photo courtesy of Anchorage Museum of History and Art, #B80.50.30)


This section treats pre-World War II management of the park including preparation of the first master plan for Sitka National Monument, the Civilian Conservation Corps-U.S. Forest Service project to restore or recarve totems at the park and from other areas of Alaska, the war years when park service personnel had only limited access to areas of the park being used by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, and the post-war years through 1959.

The period included removal of inholders from the park boundaries, efforts to obtain government housing for park personnel, war-related gravel dredging operations at the mouth of Indian River, erection of coastal defense installations within the park, navy efforts at river bank erosion control, and an expanded man date for park personnel to investigate and document historic properties throughout Sitka. The post-war period included debates over integrity of the park, when it was contemplated returning the area to local jurisdiction if the Indian fort site Could not be located by archeological examination, and possible removal of the totem poles as exotic to the park location; archeological verification of the fort site in 1957; discussions regarding treatment of the fort site, battlefield, river, replication and rehabilitation of totem poles, and the vistas from the park; and renewed consideration of establishing Sitka as a "Williamsburg of the Sub Arctic."

Other events falling into this period include assumption of maintenance of Sitka National Cemetery by park personnel, permission for operation of an asphalt hot plant on the east site of Indian River and subsequent burial of asphalt within park boundaries and reforestation, renewed gravel dredging at the mouth of Indian River, and razing of the Russian blockhouse replica donated to the park in 1926.

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Last Updated: 04-Nov-2000