1 The commissioners, appointed by Governor Lyman Knapp, were Henry Haydon (Secretary of Alaska), O.W. Farenholt (U.S. Navy), and John Green Brady, a future Alaska governor. Brady would shape the park's future in another way as well, by introducing a collection of totem poles to the park trails; Joan M. Antonson and William S. Hanable, Sitka National Historical Park Administrative History (National Park Service, 1987). Hereafter: Administrative History.
2 Antonson and Hanable, Administrative History; Holly Smith-Middleton and Arnold R. Alanen, Impressions of Indian River: A Landscape History of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998).
5 Antonson and Hanable, Administrative History, includes a list of key park administrative staff. See also: Historic Listing of National Park Service Officials (National Park Service, 1991); Robert H. Keller and Michael F. Turek, American Indians and National Parks (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1998), 252.
1 See attached bibliography for complete references: An Archeological Overview and Assessment of Sitka National Historical Park by Robert C. Betts (1999); General Management Plan, Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska by Sitka National Historical Park (1998); Impressions of Indian River; A Landscape History of Sitka National Historical Park by Holly Smith-Middleton and Arnold R. Alanen (1998); Traditional Tlingit Use of Sitka National Historical Park by Thomas Thornton (1998); Physical and Cultural Landscapes of Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka, Alaska by Gregory P. Chaney, Robert C. Betts, and Dee Longenbaugh (1995); Administrative History of Sitka National Historical Park by Joan M. Antonson and William S. Hanable (1987); Historic Structure Reports for House 105 and the Old School Administrative, Physical History and Analysis Sections, Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka by Paul C. Cloyd (1983); Historic Structure Report, Administrative and Architectural Data Sections, Russian Bishop's House by Paul C. Cloyd (1982).
7 William H. Goetzmann and Kay Sloan, Looking Far North: The Harriman Expedition to Alaska, 1899. (Viking Press, NY, 1982). Hereafter: Looking Far North; John Burroughs and John Muir et al, Alaska, The Harriman Expedition, 1899 (Dover Publications, NY); Frank Norris, Gawking at the Midnight Sun: The Tourist in Early Alaska. Alaska Historical Commission Studies in History No. 170, June 1985. Hereafter: Gawking.
10 Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, Alaska: Its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago (Lathrop and Company, Boston, 1885). Hereafter: Alaska; also Scidmore, Appleton's Guide; Mrs. Septima Collis, A Woman's Trip to Alaska: being an account of a voyage through the inland seas of the Sitkan Archipelago, in 1890 (Cassell Publishing, New York, 1890). Hereafter: A Woman's Trip; Bushrod James, Alaska: Its Neglected Past, Its Brilliant Future (Sunshine Publishing, Philadelphia, 1897); Abby Johnson Woodman, Picturesque Alaska: A Journal of a Tour Among the Mountains, Seas, and Islands of the Northwest from San Francisco to Sitka (Houghton Mifflin and Company, Boston, 1889). Hereafter: Picturesque Alaska.
13 For discussion of the evolution of park boundaries see Holly Smith-Middleton and Arnold R. Alanen, Impressions of Indian River: A Landscape History of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998) and Joan M. Antonson and William S. Hanable, Sitka National Historical Park Administrative History (National Park Service, 1987).
8 Alice Harriman (apparently no relation to the E.H. Harriman family) was a noted author who lived in Seattle in the early 1900s and headed her own publishing company. The poem "Totem Poles" was also published in Wilt Thou Not Sing, a book of Harriman's poems published by The Alice Harriman Company. The postcard (PCA255) and book are on file at the Alaska State Library.
11 The Alaskan Weekly, September 26, 1924; Thomas Thornton, Traditional Tlingit Use of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998); Beginning around 1920 the Photo Shop Studio of Sitka sold postcard-sized photographs of many features of local interest, including the trees; Smith-Middleton and Alanen, Impressions, 209, 210, 222-223.
12 Joan Antonson and William Hanable, Sitka National Historical Park Administrative History (National Park Service, 1987), 74-75; Smith-Middleton and Alanen, Impressions, 213-214; Robert N. DeArmond file, Sitka National Historical Park archives.
2 Robert N. DeArmond, "Graphic Artists in Sitka", paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Alaska Historical Society, Sitka, 1989; Kenneth DeRoux, The Gentle Craft: Watercolor Views of Alaska, 1778-1974 (Alaska State Museum, 1990). Hereafter: Gentle Craft.
5 Ibid.; Transcription of the catalogue of the exhibition of the District of Alaska at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis MO, 1904: "Paintings and Photographs of Alaska Scenery, Etc." (page 148 of original). On file in the T.J. Richardson [artist] file, Anchorage Museum of History and Art.
6 Emily Carr journal, Volume XIII 1937-40. MSS 2181, Box 3, File 7, British Columbia Archives, Victoria. Although the journal entry indicates that Richardson was from New York, he was actually from Minneapolis.
7 Shadbolt, Emily Carr. (Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver, 1990); See also 1999 British Columbia Provincial Museum online exhibit of Carr's totem pole paintings "To the Totem Forests" at internet address www.emilycarr.org.
9 Information on the Alaska Art Project was compiled by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art for a 1987-1988 exhibition titled "Work's Progress Administration's Alaska Art Project, 1937: A Retrospective Exhibition." The information is presented in an exhibit catalog by the same name. Exhibit curators were Lynn Binek, Karl E. Fortess and Merlin F. Pollock; Inventory records for the McKinley Park Hotel art collection: Denali National Park and Preserve Archives, DENA 5789.
11 Sharon Bohn Gmelch, "Elbridge Warren Merrill of Sitka, Alaska." History of Photography, Volume 19, No. 2, Summer 1995; Scott Chambers, "Elbridge Warren Merrill." Alaska Journal, Volume 7, No. 15, Summer 1977; Henry C. Kyllingstad, "A Glimpse into Sitka's History Through the Photography of E.W. Merrill" (Sheldon Jackson College, 1989).
12 Although the earliest poems included here are just over 100 years old, these are certainly not the first poetic expressions of Sitka or the park. Tlingit culture is known for a thousands-of-years old tradition of oral literature, including stories, songs, and oratory that are sometimes described in terms used to characterize poetry. These clan-owned stories and songs differ significantly from European style poetry in their governance by cultural protocol. Some songs are recognized as having special sensitivity. This would include songs of mourning and loss associated with the park as the site of the Battle of 1804. Russian culture also has a tradition of folk poetry and song. The Russian promyshlenniki recorded their poetic feelings about life in Alaska in folk songs. The "Song of Baranof' shows an optimistic perspective on expansion into Alaska in 1799. Written nine years later, "The Song to Baranov" expresses a different perspective on Tlingit-Russian relations in Sitka, retelling a tense episode involving Tlingit canoes surrounding Castle Hill and also Baranov's return to Sitka. Although there are differing translation, both songs are translated in Alexander Doll and R. A. Pierce, "Songs of Russian America," Alaska Review, Volume 4(1), Spring/Summer 1970, 24-32.
6 John Burroughs and John Muir et al., Alaska, The Harriman Expedition, 1899 (Dover Publications, NY), William H. Goetzmann and Kay Sloan, Looking Far North: The Harriman Expedition to Alaska, 1899 (Viking Press, NY, 1982).
10 Sources on Alaskan collecting that reference Sitka include Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage; Ted C. Hinckley, The Canoe Rocks: Alaska's Tlingit and the Euramerican Frontier, 1800-1912 (University Press of America, 1996); Rosemary Carlton, Sheldon Jackson the Collector (Alaska State Museums, 1999); Nora Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, Haa Kusteey I: Our Culture, Tlingit Life Stories (University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1994), 549-561.
11 Construction of the concrete museum began in 1895. It was completed and opened for visitors in 1897. The idea of a society began in 1887. It was formally organized in 1888 with a recorded constitution and by-laws. The society was known by several names. For example, membership certificates bear the name "Alaska Society of History and Ethnology," but the name given in the organization constitution is the "Society of Alaskan Natural History and Ethnology."
13 Chief Saanaheit to Governor Brady, July 28, 1901. RG 101 File: "Misc 1901-1903 (3)", letter 59, Alaska State Archive, Juneau. See also letter number 58, W.L. Barnard to Governor Brady, July 28, 1901.
14 More research is needed regarding the canoe that was displayed in the park. Although Saanaheit's initial donation included a 47-foot long war canoe, Robert N. DeArmond suggests that it was displayed in Sitka's downtown "Totem Square" at the foot of Lincoln Street, and never placed at the park. The Alaskan reported that E.W. Merrill was repainting "the old war canoe that for a lengthy period slumbered beside the old Naval hospital" in early 1906. If this was Saanaheit's canoe it apparently had not been installed at the park before then. Early photos do show a canoe displayed with the Saanaheit pole and over time it can be seen gradually disintegrating in place, perhaps by 1913. Records indicate that Brady collected a second large canoe, this one measuring 54 feet long, which he transported along with the totem poles for display at the St. Louis and Portland expositions. Photographs show this canoe exhibited at both expositions. It has a distinctive solid black midsection and prow design that is clearly different from both the canoe displayed with the Saanaheit pole at the park and the canoe at Totem Square. Of course painted designs are easily changed, but it also appears that the canoe at the park may have been smaller than the other two. By the Portland exposition, the exhibited canoe shows increased breakage, particularly on one end. It is not thought to have been returned to Alaska. Summarized from the Robert N. DeArmond file, Sitka National Historical Park archives, and project photographs.
16 Brady is thought to have been successful in obtaining poles from the villages of Old Kasaan, Tuxekan, Suqwan, Klawock, Kwahelis, and Klinkwan. The Saanaheit pole did not travel to St. Louis; it remained in place at the park. Judith Scherer research file, Sitka National Historical Park archives. A detailed historical study of the park totem pole collection is presently underway and expected to be completed by 2001.
1 Since its inception, the Sitka Presbyterian mission has had a number of different names, sometimes overlapping in use. Based on several published "From Sitka's Past" newspaper columns by Robert N. DeArmond (1986 and 1987, on file at Kettleson Library, Sitka), and research by the staff of the Sheldon Jackson Museum and Stratton Library, Sheldon Jackson College, these names included:
Sitka Mission School (1878)
7 The Mission plat of 1923 shows plans for more Cottage lots than were eventually developed. See Holly Smith Middleton and Arnold R. Alanen, Impressions of Indian River: A Landscape History of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998), 172; "Map of the Mission Cottage Settlement" by Gilbert Truitt, redrawn in Thomas Thornton, Traditional Tlingit Use of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998), 59. Hereafter: Traditional Tlingit Use; Gilbert Truitt interview, December 1998, Sitka National Historical Park Jukebox Project.
10 The Alaskan, October 1, 1887; Mark Jacobs Jr. interview, December 1998, Sitka National Historical Park Jukebox Project. Materials alone for the 1910 John Newell home on Kelly Street cost more than $2,000. From: "The John Newell House" by Martin Strand. In: Historical Houses in Sitka (Margaret Peterson and Frances Lunas Ed., Arrowhead Press, Sitka, 1978).
12 Thornton Traditional Tlingit Use; Fred Hope interview, December 1998, Sitka National Historical Park Jukebox Project; Dorothy Theodoratus, Sitka Tribe of Alaska Historic Preservation Plan (Sitka Tribe of Alaska, 1995).
13 A number of men from the Cottages worked with Merrill on the project, including John Willard, Thomas Cook, Don Cameron, Ray James, Cyrus Peck, Albert James, and George Bartlett. Other men identified may also have been associated with the Cottages. Sharon Bohn Gmelch, "Elbridge Warren Merrill of Sitka, Alaska." History of Photography, Volume 19, No. 2, Summer 1995, 164.
20 The Alaskan, November 11, 1899; Cyrus Peck Sr. interview, 1991. Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT 91-1-B); Map of the Cottage Settlement, after original by Gilbert Truitt. Reproduced in: Traditional Tlingit Use of Sitka National Historical Park. Thomas F. Thornton, 1998.
25 Gilbert Truitt interview, December 1998, Sitka National Historical Park Jukebox Project; Gilbert Truitt interview, 1991, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT-91-1-H); U.S. Navy aerial photograph USN26A. Original at Sitka Supervisor's Office, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Sitka. Enlargement at Sitka National Historical Park. Part of a series taken for U.S.G.S. between 1926 and 1929; Gilbert Truitt and Isabella Brady interviews, Thornton, Traditional Tlingit Use.
26 William Brady interview, 1990, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT901B); Cyrus Peck Sr. interview, 1991, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT-91-1-B); Nora Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, Haa Shuka, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives (Sealaska Heritage Foundation and University of Washington Press, 1987); Andrew Hope III, Founders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (Sitka, 1975); Cyrus Peck Sr., The Tides People: Thlingit Indians of South Alaska (Juneau Douglas High School, 1986); Ellen Hope Hays interviews, 1990, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT-90-1A, VT-90-1F); The Verstovian, 1914.
27 Thornton, Traditional Tlingit Use (National Park Service, 1998); Cyrus Peck Sr. interview, 1991, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (VT-91-1-B). According to Gilbert Truitt, Cottage Hall directly inspired the building of the ANB Hall, with Peter Simpson's encouragement (personal communication, March 1999).
32 The Sitka visitor center was designed by noted NPS architect Cecil John Doty. As of 1999, the Sitka visitor center is being evaluated for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Sarah Allaback, Mission 66 Visitor Centers: The History of a Building Type (Draft, National Park Service, 1999); Joan M. Antonson and William S. Hanable, Sitka National Historical Park Administrative History, (National Park Service, 1987); Holly Smith Middleton and Arnold R. Alanen, Impressions of Indian River: A Landscape History of Sitka National Historical Park (National Park Service, 1998); Ellen Hope Hays interview, December 1998, Sitka National Historical Park Jukebox Project.
1 Approximately 14 acres of the park, subsequently known as the "Sitka Defense Site", was formally transferred from the Department of the Interior to the War Department on July 14, 1942. It was transferred back to the Department of the Interior on July 10, 1947
2 Fort Ray began as a Navy seaplane base in 1937. It was re-designated as a Naval Operating Base in 1942 and a Naval Air Station in 1943. Fort Rousseau was constructed between 1941 and 1944. The causeway was constructed between 1941 and 1943. "World War II in Alaska," Alaska Geographic, Volume 22, No. 4, 1995; See also "Sitka's WWII Page" a web page by Matthew Hunter: http://mchunterl.tripod.com/sitkaww2.html. The Sitka Naval Operating Base and U.S. Army Coastal Defenses National Historical Landmark was designated in August 1986.
3 Bonnie Houston, 1995 National Park Service manuscript, "Sitka National Historic Monument Land Use History: 1939-1945." Hereafter: "Monument Land Use History"; Siems Drake Puget Sound, a composite of three experienced northwest construction contractors, was awarded a major contract for Alaska defense construction in 1939. Their first projects included base construction at Sitka and Kodiak. Later, the 22nd Naval Construction Battalion (22 Seabees) took over the gravel operation.
12 Houston, "Monument Land Use History: 1939-1945," 25; Superintendent Frank Been, memorandum dated July 23, 1942: "Military authorities have taken over much of Sitka National Monument for gun positions and ammunition dumps."
13 SMR, May 1942; The unit designation of the 205th changed during the war. Under orders effective April 17, 1942, some elements of the 205th CA regiment units sent to Alaska were formally separated from the rest of the regiment (which had been sent to Camp Haan in California), and incorporated into the 420th Coast Artillery Battalion (Composite) (Anti-aircraft). There was confusion about the unit designation; Superintendent Miller continued to refer to the unit as the 205th.
Last Updated: 20-Feb-2012