Talk:Sitka, Alaska

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Untitled[edit]

Wondering how to edit this U.S. Borough Entry?
The WikiProject U.S. Counties standards might help.

Requested move: 12/3/06[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was Move. Main article had already been moved to the present location, only the talk page remained. Closing this debate early, I believe this is an uncontroversial proposal. --Húsönd 01:56, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Strong Support — I support moving the page to Sitka, Alaska because that is the most common way of referring to it. Google agrees and, being a lifelong Sitka resident, that is how I hear Sitka referred to most as.

God no!! Don't put me in Sitka City! Somebody please fix it!
It should be either Sitka, Alaska with a section on the borough, or it should go back to City and Borough. 66.58.243.235 10:00, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Title of the Pioneer Home[edit]

The state website is here. It says "Sitka Pioneer Home" -- it seems like we should go for that. I agree, Alaska Pioneer's Home is emblazoned but coloquial usage predominately goes by the "Pioneer Home." That, and the fact the state calls it a "pioneer home" should rule out "pioneer's" despite historical usage. I think "Alaska" should not be used because that is ambiguous (sp?) with the Alaska Pioneer Home System as there are five others in the state. And again, the state refers to this is the "Sitka Pioneer Home" not the "Alaska Pioneer Home."

Ferry service to Sitka[edit]

The article states that ferry service is spotty and minimal. I'm not sure I agree with this statement. I spent a several months in the area the last two summers, often near the ferry terminal in Starrigavan Bay. Ferrys frequently came in and out while I was there, and securité calls could often be heard from them as they went through Whitestone Narrows. Some quick searching on the official site says that there are only weekly sailings from Bellingham (vs. twice weekly to Ketchikan and Petersburg), but I don't think that is infrequent enough to warrant a label of spotty.Stubblyhead 23:41, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Ferry Service[edit]

Here are some stats to consider:

  • Sitka gets 17 calls in the month of January '06[1] -- population: 8,800
  • Petersburg gets 34 calls in the month of January '06 -- population 3,200 (nearly two and a half times smaller that Sitka) although this can be argued as an anomaly
  • Ketchikan gets 30 calls in the month January '06 -- population 8,000 a town of comprable size

My argument is that a town that gets twice a little service as comprable and smaller-sized towns should be labeled as "spotty" especially considering the ferries are the primary mode of transportation for many Southeast Alaskans.

I'm not sure if this convinces you, but I think it's obvious at very least that we can note that Sitka has less service than other towns. Also keep in mind that service is all relative, so while you were at (I'm assuming) Starrigavan Campground and saw ferries coming every other day that may seem a lot but relatively it isn't. What are your thoughts?Jarfingle 02:53, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


I agree with you that Sitka gets less ferry traffic than other cities in the Southeast, but I still disagree with the use of the term spotty. Spotty would imply that service is irregular or of poor quality, and I wouldn't say the ferry service is either of those. From looking at the schedule for this summer, there appears to be regular runs both northbound and southbound, including some runs on the Fairweather. While I think it would be fair to say that it recieves less ferry traffic than other nearby communities, I wouldn't define it as either infrequent or irregular.Stubblyhead 20:40, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Tlingit history[edit]

There's a huge amount of recorded and oral Tlingit history of Sitka. Someone should take some time to examine anthropological and historical records involving Stika, and list some of the more famous potlatches, interclan wars, etc. that occurred in Stika. More importantly, someone should add some of the Tlingit side of the story to the history about Sitka's early battles between the Russians and the Tlingit.

I would do a lot of this, but I never can find enough time. So I'm encouraging anyone with a historical or anthropological bent to look into this. — Jéioosh 22:52, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Definitions of city and borough[edit]

Is it correct to say that the city-borough is located on the west side of Baranof Island when the city-borough also encompasses Baranof Island and part of Chichagof? Probably not. I'm not sure what the definitions of "city," "borough," and "city-borough" are, but someone who does might clear this up. It might be that the "city-borough" is being conflated with the "borough seat." Again, not sure. Dkreisst 13:00, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Also, in the article List of Alaska borough seats, it states that the City and Borough of Sitka has no borough seat. Dkreisst 10:00, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe that Sitka both does and doesn't have a borough seat. It doesn't because it's "seat" is the Sitka City Gov., but that government also runs the borough, so it does, just not in the way other borough's do. Wrad 00:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

As a unified city-borough, the "city government" does not run the borough, because there is no independent city government: the former city government and the former borough government have been unified into a single government. The "City of Sitka" no longer exists as a legal entity. Refs at http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/rlinks/government/ak_local.html.
Hence, the List of Alaska borough seats is correct about the City & Borough of Sitka not having a borough seat. I've removed the reference to such from this article, & the tag regarding the former contradiction. --Yksin 21:00, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Trivia[edit]

What are editors' opinions on maintaining a trivia section in this article? Dkreisst 07:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


Here are my thoughts:
I think most all of the non-media/literature-related trivia can easily be put into the main body of the article.

  • Dana can support the history section.
  • most valuable fisheries port and largest harbor system can be put into a new economy section (badly needed).
  • largest incorp. city limits is already in the intro paragraph, and the "four times as large as Rhode Island" isn't that crucial.
  • Sitka written in cyrilic should be deleted.

Dkreisst 07:38, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Date of renaming Novoarkhangelsk to Sitka[edit]

I was wondering when it was decided to rename Novoarkhangelsk to Sitka, as I can't find a specific reference to it in the article. Was it when the Alaska Purchase came into effect or when general Jefferson C. Davis the Russians out of the settlement threw or at some other date? --Hardscarf (talk) 16:20, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

According to some sources the Americans persisted in calling Sitka before the handover was completed. Berry —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.49.90.190 (talk) 14:13, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Also, regarding renaming: right after the handover the first street that the Americans have renamed was the main street: Lincoln Street. But what was the name (if any) before I cannot find. Berry —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.49.90.190 (talk) 14:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Sitka in Books

I found one more book with large part of the story based in Sitka: 'The Great Alone' by Janet Dailey, Sphere Books Limited, London 1987 Berry —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.49.90.190 (talk) 14:15, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Finskoj Aljaskje / Finnish Alaska[edit]

It seems that nearly the whole population of Novoarhagelskij (renamed later Sitka) was of Finnish origin. Only few ethnic Russian lived there, but more than 500 Finns which were citizen of The Grand Duchy of Finland, then part of Imperial Russia. Also some Germans from Danzig, Balts from Courland and, according to their names, quite many Mordvians (Volga Finns). It was a real "Wild West" according to the Finnish preserved records, still available in Finnish archives. The Finnish men were quite popular in the eyes of the Indian women with a result that the descendants of such free sexual relationships spreaded from Sitka to Fort Ross in California and can be today (2008) accounted in thousands. Finnish language seems to have been the general language used and I think the main road was named Suomentie (Finland´s Road) if they followed the common practice of Finnish emigrants. There is lot of additional information also in Finnish Wikipedia, but unfortunately only in Finnish language. The Finns can be found in both church registers, the Protestant and Orthodox ones, and form the majority of the whole European population in Russian Alaska. As late as 1939 there were over 2.000 Finns living in Alaska and their descendats live still there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.113.112.46 (talk) 19:35, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Pictures?[edit]

I may be going back to Sitka soon, and I was wondering if any of the images need updating? moocowsrule 01:07, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Different Order of Events in Battle of Sitka[edit]

In Stephen Haycox' history, "Alaska, An American Colony" (University of Washington Press, 2002), the order of events is different from that given here, as follows:

"Baranov tried to lead the infantry assault with a few Russians and several hundred Aleuts but was beaten off, taking a bullet in the arm. Lisianskii then reduced the Native post with his ship's guns, and the Tlingit evacuated the site." (p. 98).

Given that the Battle of Sitka article in Wikipedia cites Lisianskii's log, I'm inclined to believe Wikipedia's order of events, but I thought I'd note this in case anyone thinks the discrepancy worth investigating. I agree with the suggestion that balancing the article with accounts from the Tlingit viewpoint would be a much more interesting contribution. Dominic Widdows (talk) 03:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

fourth largest city?[edit]

This is also stated on the page for Wasilla, which has a higher population. Should this line be deleted? Anoldtreeok (talk) 08:02, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

File:Sitka seal.png Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]

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Demographics[edit]

is there any way we can get a clearer look at the demographics? I know the government usually separates " Black, White, Asian, Islander, & N. American" but the area has a strong Russian & apparently Finnish connexion & white isn't really specific.. or the congruent to Russian or Suomalaiset.

I agree, and what about the population spikes in 1940, 1960, and 1980; any explanations? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.183.224.2 (talk) 20:36, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Notable mayors and other officials[edit]

Once again, we're perhaps confusing actual notability with fleeting celebrity or fleeting news headlines. Right off the top of my head, I can think of six former mayors of Sitka who were far more notable than Scott McAdams: John Dapcevich, John O'Connell, Ben Grussendorf, Dick Eliason, Rocky Gutierrez and Benjamin D. Stewart. I didn't even take into consideration any of the 19th-century mayors under the "provisional city government." McAdams didn't even have five minutes of fame, much less fifteen, once Lisa Murkowski announced her write-in campaign. The hardcore Democrats in Alaska haven't abandoned McAdams, even though pretty much everyone else did.

There's also early American government officials who had more than a superficial association with Sitka, such as M. D. Ball, Sheldon Jackson and John G. Brady. Various sources (which may be in conflict with other sources) state that Brady's ties to Sitka were the key factor for the delay in moving the capital to Juneau between the time that Congress passed the act of 1900 and the actual move took place six years later.RadioKAOS (talk) 21:24, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

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Major revision needed[edit]

This page is due for a fairly major overhaul, adding significantly to the history section. Areas that need expanding include (at least) Native history pre-contact, early US history, civil rights (Sheldon Jackson and the ANB/ANS), WW II (Fort Ray), the timber industry (APC and the 50 year timber contract) and... perhaps the fire.

If anyone wants to collaborate on completing this page, please respond to this post, and let's work out the best path forward. Name Omitted (talk) 17:38, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

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Hot spring about 7-8 miles from Sitka?[edit]

I've been reading a memoir by John D'Wolf (uncle of Herman Melville) called A Voyage to the North Pacific and a journey through Siberia more than half a century ago, published in 1861 and recounting, among other things, time he spent in Sitka in 1805, hanging out with Baranov, Nikolai Rezanov, Georg von Langsdorff, and others. It's online here: https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.16841

I was intrigued by a comment he makes on p. 59:

...I made many excursions about [Sitka Sound] in my baidarka. About seven or eight miles from the village [Sitka], there was a hot-water spring which I visited. Situated in a beautiful, romantic place, the water runs down from the foot of a high mountain, in a small serpentine rivulet, for several hundred yards, and empties into a broad basin, several rods in diameter [~50-100 feet], which has a sandy bottom. The heat of the water at its source is about 150°, and as it spreads over the basin below it cools down to 100°. It is strongly impregnated with sulphur, and with salt and magnesia.

I wonder if this still exists. Seems like it would be well known if it did. 7-8 miles by kayak from Sitka isn't very far. Anyone know about it? Would be an interesting bit of history if it still exists, or even if its location is known. I know about Baranof Warm Springs, Alaska, but that would be well over 50 miles from Sitka by kayak. Pfly (talk) 01:58, 6 January 2021 (UTC)

A google search for "Sitka Hot Springs" brings back several results pointing to "Goddard Hot Springs, also known as Sitka Hot Springs"... 15 or 16 miles away... could this be the same? - Adolphus79 (talk) 04:39, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Goddard Hot Springs (A.K.A. Sitka Hot Springs according to some websites) might be the same Baranof Warm Springs, Alaska that you linked... although all the travel websites list the Goddard spring on the west side of Baranof island, and our Baranof Warm Springs article lists them on the East side of the island (as well as different LAT/LON coordinates)... so... ? - Adolphus79 (talk) 04:40, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Oh hey thanks, that actually looks quite plausible. I checked USGS GNIS, which has this entry for "Goddard", with variants names including "Hot Springs" and "Sitka Hot Springs", among others. It also has this "history" text:
This is the site of a health resort locally named about 1924 for Dr. F. L. Goddard, a local businessman. It was probably established about 1800 by the Russians who called it "Teplyya Tseplitel Yuchya Klyuchi," meaning "sheltered curative hot springs" (Sarichev, 1826, map 19). They had a hospital here in 1841. In 1908 a post office named "Sanitarium" was established here, but the name was changed to "Goddard" in 1924; discontinued in 1944 (Ricks, 1965, p. 23, 56).
If the Russians knew about it "about 1800" it would make sense that D'Wolf would know in 1805. Further, it is on "Hot Springs Bay". Here is a link to USGS topos of the area. About 16 miles from Sitka is more than "about seven or eight miles", but D'Wolf was estimating decades later. Makes sense that he could have halved the distance, but he's quite clear about staying in or very close to Sitka Sound.
Thanks! I'm not quite sure what to do with this information, lol. If nothing else I'll see if D'Wolf says anything else. He wrote a bunch of interesting descriptions of Sitka at that early time. Someday I hope to make a page for him. Quite the adventure he had, as well as being tied to the early history of the Russian-American Company's presence at Sitka. He sold his 200 ton ship Juno to Baranov, with all its cargo and provisions, which was a big deal for Baranov at that time, and saved Sitka from a food crisis. Juno was then used for various things, including reconnoitering for a post in California and the mouth of the Columbia (almost meeting Lewis and Clark), and other things. However it wrecked in 1811 on the coast of Kamchatka. Pfly (talk) 05:29, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Goddard hot springs and Baranof Warm Springs are not the same. Happy to help with other questions! Dleit Ḵaa (talk) 07:16, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
It sounds like, at the very least, we need a new article for the Goddard springs... - Adolphus79 (talk) 07:30, 6 January 2021 (UTC)
Goddard Hot Springs and the resort are mentioned quite frequently in contemporary sources about the area and Alaska in general. That likely has a lot to do with the lack of an article, as there are multiple generations' worth of 19th- and 20th-century human knowledge which hasn't migrated very well to the web. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 07:35, 6 January 2021 (UTC)