The Port of Klawock lies on the western shores of Prince of Wales Island on Klawock Inlet in southeastern Alaska. The Port of Klawock is about half-way between the Port of Sitka (218 kilometers or 135 miles by air) and Prince Rupert Port in Canada (221 kilometers or 137 miles by air). The Port of Klawock is just 11 kilometers (7 miles) north-northeast of the Port of Craig, also on Prince of Wales Island. The 2000 Census reported that 854 people lived in the Port of Klawock, over half of them Native Alaskan. The Port of Klawock is an important center for Tlingit culture.
The first inhabitants of what would become the Port of Klawock were from a Tlingit winter village, Tuxekan. The Port of Klawock was a summer fishing camp that has also been called Tlevak, Clevak, and Kawerak.
The Port of Klawock's history reflects its close ties to the fishing industry. In 1868, a salmon saltery and a trading post were opened there. In 1882, a post office was opened in the Port of Klawock.
The Port of Klawock was the site of Alaska's first cannery, built by a San Francisco firm in 1878. By 1890, about 260 people lived there. A red salmon hatchery operated in the Port of Klawock from 1897 to 1917, and two additional canneries opened in the early 1920s.
The Port of Klawock was incorporated in 1929. In 1934, the US Congress made federal funds available for cannery operations on the condition that the community be free of alcohol. Also in the early 1930s, the non-profit Klawock Cooperative Association was formed to both own and operate the cannery.
Residents of the Port of Klawock created the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS) in 1912. These non-profit organizations, with the help of volunteers and members, built the Town Hall and a community center that opened in 1939.