Port of Hoonah
Review and History

The Port of Hoonah is a well-run protected harbor off Icy Strait as it meets Glacier Bay in Alaska. One of the best harbors in southeast Alaska, the Port of Hoonah is about 19 nautical miles south of the Port of Excursion Inlet and some 47 nautical miles southwest of the Port of Juneau.

The Port of Hoonah is community where the Huna Tlingit people have lived since before written history. The Port of Hoonah is located on Chichagof Island, the fifth biggest island in the United States. The 2000 Census reported 860 people in the Port of Hoonah, 60% of whom are Native Alaskans and 29% are Caucasian. During the summer fishing, hunting, and hiking season, however, the Port of Hoonah population grows to more than 1300.

Port History

Huna Tlingit legend tells of an ancient village in Glacier Bay that glacial advance destroyed, driving the people to the location of today's Port of Hoonah. The indigenous peoples have lived there as long as men can remember.

In 1880, the Northwest Trading Company established a store in the Port of Hoonah, and shortly thereafter, the Presbyterian Home Mission School appeared in the village. By 1887, as many as 500 people lived in the Port of Hoonah.

The Port of Hoonah's post office was opened in 1901. In 1912, the Hoonah Packing Company opened a big cannery. Although it has closed since then, the cannery at Icy Strait Point is a tourist attraction today. In 1944, a terrible fire destroyed the town and many Tlingit cultural items. The US federal government helped restore the Port of Hoonah.

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