The New International Encyclopædia/Sitka (Alaska)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SITKA. The capital of the Territory of Alaska, 160 miles south by west of Juneau, and 1200 miles north of Tacoma, Washington; latitude 57° 3′ N., longitude 135° 20′ W. (Map: Alaska, H 4). It is picturesquely situated on the western coast of Baranov Island, facing Sitka Sound, in close proximity to several snow-clad mountain peaks. The climate of Sitka, in spite of its northern latitude, is comparatively mild, owing to the influence of the warm Japan Current. Among the noteworthy features of the city are the Russo-Greek church, dating from 1816, the Church of Saint Peter's by the Sea, erected in 1899, and the Sheldon Jackson Museum, connected with the Presbyterian Mission. The educational institutions include public schools founded by the United States Government, a Russo-Greek parochial school, and the Presbyterian Industrial Training School for natives. There are also to be mentioned the Marine Hospital, marine barracks, an agricultural experiment station, the Governor's residence, a United States land office, and the chief customs office for Alaska. Salmon fishing and canning, mining, and lumbering are the most important industries. In 1799 the Russian-American Company established a trading post at Sitka, which, under the name of New Archangel, was permanently occupied by the Russians in 1804. It became later the seat of the Russian Territorial Government. After the cession of Alaska to the United States in 1867, Sitka was made the capital of the unorganized Territory. A military post was maintained here until 1877. Population, in 1890, 1190; in 1900, 1396.