Port of Tenakee Springs
Review and History

The Port of Tenakee Springs lies on the east side of Alaska's Chichagof Island on the northern shores of Tenakee Inlet. Just 31 nautical miles (48 kilometers or 30 miles by air) northwest of Angoon, the Port of Tenakee Springs is 62 nautical miles (74 kilometers or 46 miles by air) south-southwest of Juneau. The 2000 US Census reported a population of 104 people in the Port of Tenakee Springs, most of them White. The Port of Tenakee Springs is, for the most part, a vacation and retirement community; however, fishing provides important income to the community. Three small lumber mills also support employment and the local economy.

Port History

"Tenakee" derives from a Tlingit word, tinaghu, which means Coppery Shield Bay. Legend tells that three highly-prized copper shields were lost there in a storm. Until the late 19th Century, Natives, prospectors, and fishermen used the Tenakee Inlet as shelter during the winters. There is also natural hot springs in the Port of Tenakee Springs that attracted visitors.

In about 1895, enterprising Port of Tenakee Springs residents built a large tub and building to provide visitors with a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the hot springs. Snyder's Mercantile, still in operation, was opened in 1899. In 1903, the post office opened its doors. At that time, the community was called "Tenakee." The name Tenakee Springs was adopted in 1928. The Port of Tenakee Springs was incorporated in 1971.

The modern bathhouse in the Port of Tenakee Springs was built in 1940. Between 1916 and 1974, three canneries brought employment and income to the community.

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