Yakutat Borough - Adopt Me

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Yakutat Borough



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Yakutat is isolated among the lowlands along the Gulf of Alaska, 225 miles northwest of Juneau and 220 miles southeast of Cordova. It is at the mouth of Yakutat Bay, one of the few refuges for vessels along this stretch of coast. The Hubbard and Malaspina Glaciers are nearby. The area encompasses 7,651 square miles of land.

Yakutat has a diverse cultural history. The original settlers are believed to have been Eyak-speaking people from the Copper River area who were conquered by the Tlingits. Yakutat means "the place where the canoes rest."

In the 18th and 19th centuries, English, French, Spanish and Russian explorers came to the region. Fur traders were attracted to the region's sea otters. The Russian-American Co. built a fort in Yakutat in 1805 to harvest sea otter pelts. Because the Russians would not allow local Tlingits access to their traditional fisheries, a Tlingit war party attacked and destroyed the post. In 1884, the Alaska Commercial Co. opened a store in Yakutat. By 1886, the black sand beaches in the area were being mined for gold. In 1889 the Swedish Free Mission Church had opened a school and sawmill in the area.

A cannery, sawmill, store and railroad were constructed beginning in 1903 by the Stimson Lumber Co. Most residents moved to the current site of Yakutat to be closer to this cannery, which operated through 1970. During World War II, a large aviation garrison and paved runway were constructed. Troops were withdrawn after the war, but the runway is still in use. The City of Yakutat was formed in 1948, but in 1992, the City was dissolved and a Borough was organized for the region. 

A federally recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe; Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The population of the community consists of 46.8% Alaska Native or part Native.  The area maintains a traditional Tlingit culture with influences from the original Eyak Athabascans, as well as Russian, English and American traders and miners.

A total of 808 residents is recorded for Yakutat Borough in the 2000 census.




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