Woody Island (Alaska)
Woody Island is located in Chiniak Bay, 2.6 miles east of Kodiak, Alaska. It was settled by the native Alutiiq people who called themselves Tangirnarmiut, "the people of Tangirnaq." They used Woody Island for thousands of years. The Russians established an agricultural colony on Woody Island in 1792, it was designated Wood Island in 1894 by the US Post Office and was the primary coastal settlement for commerce and trade for many years. The first road in Alaska was built on Woody Island. Aside from the Aleut presence, the island has gone through four periods of occupation by non-natives, is unoccupied today; the island is 2.8 miles long from north to south and 1.8 miles wide and 13 miles in circumference. The Woody Island Historic Archeological District, comprising sites of archaeological importance on the island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015; the Alutiiq people used the island for "whaling, wood-working, sweat-baths, extensive trade," and build "large multi-roomed houses, large villages with complex social ranking."
When the Russians arrived in the 18th century, the native people were successful in driving them off. There followed a short period of accommodation and trade, after which the Russians engaged in brutal subjugation of the people, resulting in "epidemics, forced relocations, extermination of those who resisted."Russian naval officer Gavriil Davydov observed an Aleut winter ceremony on Woody Island in 1802. He wrote: In 1805 a village on the east side of Woody Island was inhabited by 54 Alutiiq people. A smallpox epidemic struck the region in 1837 and the Russians forcefully amalgamated the survivors into seven villages, among them a village on Woody Island; the Russian American Commercial Company operated an ice company on the island beginning in 1852. They dammed Lake Tanignak, they shipped ice south to California. The company brought in the first iron rails to haul ice and horses to power a horse-powered saw which cut the ice into blocks. A sawmill was built to produce not lumber, but sawdust, used to insulate the ice for shipment south.
The first road built in Alaska was graded around the island to allow the horses to be exercised. In 1867 the company was renamed the Kodiak Ice Co. For much of the late half of the 19th century, many of the Aluttiq people on Woody Island were enslaved by the Russians to work for the ice harvesting companies during the winter. Conscripted by the Russians, they hunted sea otters and fur seals during the summer for their prized fur. In 1872 a Russian Orthodox Church was built on Woody Island; the church exerted a strong influence over the native population, replacing in many instances native ceremonies and observances with church-centered activities. The sea otter and fur seal populations declined in the latter half of the 19th century due to over-harvesting, with about 100,000 sea otters and a correspondingly high number of fur seals being taken each year. By 1911 only about 2000 sea otters remained in 13 small remnant populations, making hunting unprofitable. Commercial taking of sea otters and fur seals were prohibited by the Fur Seal Treaty.
The Aleuts were permitted to hunt them for subsistence purposes only. In 1886, the Island was the commercial center for the Kodiak area. Services included the ice harvesting operation, a boat yard, a grist mill, the Alaska Commercial Company wharf, the only roads in Alaska connecting these facilities; the North American Commercial Company, a fur trading enterprise, established a presence there in 1891, including a store. Ernest and Ida Roscoe built a Baptist Mission and orphanage on Woody Island in 1893. Over the next twenty years, the mission added a girls' quarters, boys' dormitory, office building, carpenter shop, cannery and dining room; the mission provided homes for Aleut children who had lost their parents, but the Baptist missionaries sometimes brought children to the orphanage against their parents' will. The main building burned down in 1925, was rebuilt, burned again in 1937; the mission was relocated to Kodiak on the mainland where a greater variety of services were more available.
The United States Navy built a wireless station on the island in 1911. It included two large masts 225 feet tall. During the eruption of the Novarupta volcano on the Alaska Peninsula in 1912, over 18 inches of ash was deposited on the island. Everyone but the watchman evacuated to Kodiak. During the ash fall, lightning struck one of the antenna which started a fire that burned most of the wireless station. Harry Martin, a survivor of the volcanic eruption, told U. S. Navy radioman Bart Phelps about the experience in 1924: The wireless station was rebuilt and updated in 1914; the wireless station was decommissioned on February 28, 1931, shortly thereafter the Federal government allowed the Territory of Alaska to use the remaining buildings for the Longwood School. After the mission and orphanage was relocated to the mainland, the entire island's population declined rapidly; the Longwood School enrollment dropped from 71 in 1937 to 20 in 1939, the school was permanently closed. Many of the natives moved to Kodiak where they were less dependent on subsistence living and could find jobs.
In 1941, the Civil Aeronautics Administration built the Kadiak Naval Air Station including a runway, flight service station, remote air ground, remote transmitter, low frequency range beacon, VHF link terminal facilities. These relayed weather and other aeronautical data to pilots. During World War II up to their families lived on the island, they maintained the teletypes and radio rec
The Semidi Islands are a group of islands of the state of Alaska, United States, lying offshore in the Gulf of Alaska. The islands are part of Kodiak Island Borough and are located southwest of Kodiak Island, about halfway between the Alaska Peninsula mainland and Chirikof Island; the largest islands of the group are Chowiet Island. The island group is uninhabited, they are part of the Alaska Peninsula unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska
Lake and Peninsula Borough is a borough in the state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,631; the borough seat of King Salmon is located in neighboring Bristol Bay Borough, although is not the seat of that borough. The most populous community in the borough is the city of Newhalen. With an average of 0.0296 inhabitants/km2, the Lake and Peninsula Borough is the second least densely populated organized county-equivalent in the United States. The borough has an area of 32,922 square miles, of which 23,652 square miles is land and 9,270 square miles is water; the borough occupies most of the Alaska Peninsula. Its land area is larger than that of San Bernardino County, the largest county in the contiguous Lower 48 states, as large as the state of West Virginia. Bethel Census Area, Alaska – north Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska – east Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska – southeast Aleutians East Borough, Alaska – west Bristol Bay Borough, Alaska – west Dillingham Census Area, Alaska – west Alagnak Wild River Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge Sutwik Island Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve Becharof National Wildlife Refuge Becharof Wilderness Katmai National Park and Preserve Katmai Wilderness Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Lake Clark Wilderness As of the census of 2000, there were 1,823 people, 588 households, 418 families residing in the borough.
The population density was 0.059 people per square mile. There were 1,557 housing units at an average density of 0.05 per square mile. The racial makeup of the borough was 18.76% White, 0.05% Black or African American, 73.51% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, 6.97% from two or more races. 1.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. About 5.41% reported speaking a Yupik language at home, while 3.87% speak Alutiiq and 1.23% an Athabaskan language. Some 44.70% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.50% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.90% were non-families. About 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals, 3.90% consisted of a sole occupant 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.10 and the average family size was 3.74. In the borough, the age of the population was spread out with 37.80% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, 5.40% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 124.10 males. Chignik Egegik Newhalen Nondalton Pilot Point Port Heiden List of airports in the Lake and Peninsula Borough Official link Media related to Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska at Wikimedia Commons Borough map: Alaska Department of Labor
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
Spruce Island (Alaska)
Spruce Island is an island in the Kodiak Archipelago of the Gulf of Alaska in the US state of Alaska. It lies just across the Narrow Strait. Spruce Island has a land area of 46.066 km² and a population of 242 as of the 2000 census in its only city, Ouzinkie, in the southwestern part of the island. From 1808 to 1818, Spruce Island was the hermitage of Herman of Alaska glorified as a saint and considered the patron saint of the Orthodox Church in the Americas; the island is a site of pilgrimages by Orthodox Christians. In 2008, researchers led by the mayor of the northern Siberian city of Yakutsk alleged that the island should still belong to the Russian Orthodox Church because the Russian Empire had no authority to sell the church's land as part of the Alaska Purchase
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge comprising 2,400 islands, rocks, islets and reefs in Alaska, with a total area of 4.9 million acres, of which 2.64 million acres is wilderness. The refuge stretches from Cape Lisburne on the Chukchi Sea to the tip of the Aleutian Islands in the west and Forrester Island in the southern Alaska Panhandle region in the east; the refuge has diverse landforms and terrains, including tundra, cliffs, beaches and streams. Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is well known for its abundance of seabirds. About 75 percent of Alaskan native marine birds, 15 to 30 million among 55 species, use the refuge. AMNWR provides a nesting habitat for an estimated 40 million seabirds, representing 80 percent of all seabirds in North America; the birds congregate in "bird cities" along the coast. Each species has a specialized nesting site. Other animals present in this refuge include caribou, sea lions, coyotes, Canadian lynxes, foxes, wolf packs, walrus, river otters, whales, Dall sheep and sea otters.
The administrative headquarters and visitor center are located in Alaska. In 1968, Simeonof National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service; the refuge is divided into five units. Clockwise around Alaska, starting in the southeast, their component territories include: Saint Lazaria Wilderness Hazy Islands Wilderness Forrester Island Wilderness Barren Islands Tuxedni Wilderness Middleton Island Chiswell Islands Trinity Island Sutwik Island Semidi Wilderness Simeonof Wilderness Includes most of the land area of the Aleutian Islands, from Unimak in the east to Attu in the west Unimak Wilderness Aleutian Islands Wilderness Bogoslof Wilderness Hagemeister Island Pribilof Islands Bering Sea Wilderness Besboro Island Sledge Island King Island Chamisso Wilderness Cape Thompson Cape Lisburne United States Fish and Wildlife Service Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge Official website Islands and Oceans Visitor Center, the official visitor's center for the Refuge AMNWR field camp photos Unofficial site The short film The Tiglax - Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is available for free download at the Internet Archive
Chirikof Island is located in the Gulf of Alaska 80 miles southwest of Kodiak Island. Chirikof Island consists of 33,000 acres of sedges. Treeless, it lies west of the western tree line in Alaska; the island is shaped like a webbed duck foot with the heel to the north and the webbing to the south. The seas around Chirikof are treacherous and the island has a history of shipwrecks; the south shore has a wide beach suitable for cautious watercraft landings. The island is open to general public access. Commercial carriers need a permit to visit; the first human inhabitants of the island were the Old Islanders, 4000-2000 BP A subsistence village existed up to the late 19th century, when it was succeeded first by fox farming and by cattle farming. There has been continuous human habitation of Chirikof, relieved by short periods of abandonment. In 1980, the island became part of the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge; the only inhabitants now are a herd of 700-800 feral cattle. Cattle have been present on the island since the late 19th century.
In the 21st century, the herd has become the subject of an ongoing controversy between a small group of Kodiak ranchers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge. Vitus Bering, captain of the St. Peter, Alexei Chirikov, captain of the St. Paul, sailed from Kamchatka in 1741 with charts that called the island Tummenoi, a Russian word meaning foggy; the log of the St. Peter recorded a sighting of the island on August 2, 1741, St. Stephen's day. For this reason, Bering renamed the island St. Stephen Island. Bering's ship and Chirikof's had become separated early in the voyage and Chirikof never saw the island. Nonetheless, in 1794, explorer George Vancouver renamed the island Chirikof Island, observing that Capt. Chirikof's "labors in the arduous task of discovery do not appear to have been thus commemorated." Alutiiqs of the area still call. In 1799 the Russian-American Company was given a charter by Tsar Paul I to govern the territory of Alaska and manage the exploitation of its resources.
The company had established a permanent colony for European settlers on Kodiak Island. Supported at first by the infamous fur trade, the Kodiak colonists pursued cattle ranching and fox farming. During the Russian period a population of 60-100 villagers lived a subsistence life on nearby Chirikof; the villagers were Alutiiq, Tlingit and western Europeans. Some were the Alaskan word for mixed race, they worshiped in a small Russian orthodox church. The village was abandoned soon after the Russian church called the only priest on the island back to Kodiak in 1870. Alaska Commercial Company acquired the assets of the Russian-American Company in 1867 when Russia sold the territory to America. In 1887, an ACC subsidiary was formed to breed blue foxes on Chirikof. Voles were imported to feed the foxes. A small herd of cattle was brought in to provide meat for the American caretakers, who disliked seal meat. From time to time - 1892, 1912 - the company shipped additional cattle to the island; the cattle were not landed.
Once on land, the cattle thrived unattended on the nutritious island grasses. They lost many traits of domestication, they do not herd up. The late Dr. Lydia Black, a leading scholar of the Russian-American period in Alaska, rebutted the legend that there was once a Russian penal colony on Chirikof. Among those who perpetuated that myth was artist and writer Henry Wood Elliott, who wrote and alarmingly of the fur trade slaughter but fictitiously of much else. Few people at the time were knowledgeable enough to refute Elliott's fantasies. One who could was Capt. Arthur Morris, administrator of Alaska in 1877, who once stated, "Don't believe a word Elliott says except about fur seals." The beef industry on Chirikof began in earnest in 1925 and continued as late as 1983, when a $875,000 loan from the Alaska Agricultural Loan Board brought 600 new head to the island. The original venture was the brain-child of an Iowa farm boy with a law degree named Jack McCord. McCord formed the Chirikof Cattle Company and labored from 1925 to 1950 to build a successful beef industry on the island.
The story is a long saga of shipwrecks, plane crashes, unruly feral cattle, unfulfilled contracts, spoiled meat and good money thrown after bad. A succession of hopeful owners since McCord has been unable to profitably market the beef from this remote island. Ranch workers report that the meat is "inedible," tough and hard to digest; as part of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, certain state lands reverted to federal ownership. In 1980, Chirikof Island was added to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge; the management plan for the refuge entails restoring the island's native species and requires removal of the cattle, which overgraze the land and damage bird habitat. However, the most recent attempt in 2003 to remove a small part of the herd - 37 head, by barge - resulted in injuries to the animals that attracted the attention of the Humane Society of the United States. Additionally, legal issues have delayed plans to remove the herd and restore the island as a bird sanctuary.
Ford, Where the Sea Breaks Its Back Davidson, The Tracks and Landfalls of Bering and Chirikof Golder, Bering's Voyages Waxell, The American Expedition Steller, Journal of a Voyage with Bering Beaglehole, The Life of Captai