puffin home

Harriman Expedition Retraced


expedition log




July 27, 2001 Souvenir Album:


Images (click images for larger view)


Three Russian blockhouses were built to protect Sitka when it was the capital of Russian Alaska. This blockhouse was rebuilt in 1962 by the National Park Service on the site of the original fortification. Russians needed the protection; Native opposition to the Russian interlopers was always very strong. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

St. Michaels

St. Michael's Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church, is a replica of the original building constructed in the 1840s. A fire destroyed the original structure in 1966, but virtually all the icons from inside the building were rescued from the blaze. The church's bells were cast from the original bronze bells, which melted in the fire. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).


In the center of Sitka rests the Pioneer Home, a home constructed for elderly gold prospectors. The Home was started in 1913, and the current structure dates from 1934. The statue in front of the home, "The Prospector," presents an idealized portrait of these pioneers. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).


While Sitka may be one of Alaska's oldest towns, it never forgets its wilderness surroundings. The town of 8,000 stretches along 14 miles of road, hugging the shore of massive Baranof Island. To the north, mountains and wilderness; to the south, Sitka Sound and the sea. These wolf pelts, for sale in a local store, may startle tourists, but to residents, they are unremarkable. (Photo by Allison Eberhard).

allen marine

Virtually all businesses in Alaska are involved in either resource extraction such as mining (chiefly oil) or in services to residents and visitors. One significant exception is Allen Marine, Inc., a family-owned Sitka shipyard that is building four high-speed passenger ferries for NY Waterway, the largest private commuter ferry service in the U.S. Much of Allen Marine's labor force previously worked at Sitka's now-closed pulp mill. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).


Duke, an adult bald eagle permanently crippled and unable to fly, is the unofficial mascot of the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. The Raptor Center has more than two dozen "Raptors-in-Residence." Some, like Duke, are unable to return to the wild, while others are medically treated (usually for human-related injuries) and released. The volunteer staff handles roughly 200 birds annually, and runs programs for the 40,000 visitors who come to the center each year. Center posters feature the perpetually glaring Duke with a caption, "I AM Smiling!" (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

sand beach

Barely the length of a football field and much narrower, Sitka's Sandy Beach is still a major local attraction on sunny days -- all the other beaches consist of mud and rock. Locals claim the beach is filled with swimmers when the sun comes out, though this was hard to imagine during a cold, overcast drizzle. (Photo by National Ocean Service, NOAA).

St. Lazaria

St. Lazaria, not far from Sitka, is a volcanic island with some spectacular collapsed cones and domes. The rugged terrain is a haven for migratory seabirds. (Photo by Jonas K. Parker).


Late in the day, this sow grizzly put in an appearance on the shore of Olga Straits near Sitka. She was traveling with a cub, but the cub disappeared into the brush. (Photo by Jonas K. Parker).




For information on the Harriman Retraced Expedition e-mail: harriman2001@science.smith.edu

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