• Image of visitor center and totem poles

    Sitka

    National Historical Park Alaska

Cottage Community

Historical photograph of the Cottage Community

The Cottage Community, Metlakatla Street, Sitka

The Cottage Community was a small residential community established around 1888 by Sheldon Jackson Mission/School for its graduates. It was a place for the newly educated and Christianized Tlingit to maintain their new lifestyle. Residents agreed to keep the Sabbath, provide education for their children, maintain public health, abstain from alcohol and gambling, and avoid traditional festivities and customs. The Cottages developed into a cohesive community, which produced many of Sitka's modern day Tlingit leaders. The Cottages was located between Sheldon Jackson School and the Park, so Cottage residents had a close involvement with the Park. They used it for recreation and enjoyment, continued their traditional uses of it, and benefited from tourist related business opportunities there. It was even a backyard for their children to play in.

Did You Know?

Totem hall at Sitka National Historical Park

Alaska’s Governor John Brady asked leaders from several southeast Alaska villages to donate totem poles for public exhibitions outside of Alaska, and eventually, for display at Sitka’s popular public park. More than a dozen Tlingit and Haida poles were placed along the park’s trail in 1906. More...