Posted by: danielfee | October 29, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 10-29-2012

Gastineau Channel and Juneau, Alaska

The Gastineau Channel was a favorite fishing ground for local Tlingit Indians, who had inhabited the surrounding area for thousands of years, long before any European settlement in the Americas. The native cultures are rich with artistic traditions including carving, weaving, orating, singing and dancing, and Juneau has become a major social center for the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes of Southeast Alaska. The first European to see the Juneau area was Joseph Whidbey who explored the region in July–August 1794. Early in August he initially saw the length of Gastineau Channel from the south and later saw the length of the channel again, this time from the west. He noted that it was unnavigable because it was filled with ice.

In October 1880 Joe Juneau and Richard Harris marked a 160-acre town site where soon a mining camp would be established. Within a year the camp became a small town, which was the first to be founded after the United States had purchased Alaska. The town was originally called Harrisburg, after Richard Harris. Some time later it was renamed to Rockwell after Lt. Com. Charles Rockwell. However in 1881, the miners met and renamed the town Juneau, after Joe Juneau, and that name stuck.


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