Alaska September 07, 2022
The One Small Town In Alaska With More Historic Buildings Than Any Other
Alaska’s history is varied and interesting. And while most towns in the state have a ton of historic buildings, we think the historic sites in Alaska in the small town of Sitka are absolutely fascinating. From beautiful totem poles in Sitka National Park to hundreds of years old buildings in churches nearby, this town is filled with history.
1. Sitka National Historical Park
Sitka National Historical Park Main Entrance, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
Sitka National Historical Park is a beautiful park dedicated to the history of the native peoples of the area. This 107-acre park is filled with incredible works of art, including Haida and Tlingit totem poles that were moved there from the Louisiana Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. Don't forget to visit the museum, and the many walking trails around the area.
2. Castle Hill
Castle Hill, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
Castle Hill, also known as the Baranof Castle State Historic Site, was erected in 1837. It's a National Historic Landmark and a beautiful state park. The original building burned down in 1898. A new building was constructed, but in 1955 was also torn down. It now functions as a public green space with gorgeous views.
After the Alaska Purchase was negotiated in 1867, Russian Alaska was formally transferred to the United States in a public ceremony held on the top of Castle Hill.
While the landmark is just a rock outcrop 60 feet tall, it's in a prominent position on the edge of Sitka Harbor and worth visiting the next time you're in Sitka!
3. Russian-American Building No. 29 National Historic Landmark
Russian-American Building No. 29, 202-206 Lincoln St, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
Constructed in 1852, this vernacular log building covered in siding was the seat of Sitka's first years as a seat of government in Alaska. The Russian American Company built this building, one of the few structures that bear witness to Russian colonial ventures in present-day U.S. territory.
It is now a National Historic Landmark, and visitors can visit the building. Make sure to look at the exterior log wall, which displays the original hand-hewn logs, nails, and identification markings.
4. St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral
St Michael's Russian Orthodox, 5025 E Mill Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147, USA
Built between 1844 and 1848, this outstanding example of Russian church architecture was the largest and most imposing religious edifice in Alaska until well into the 20th century. The original St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral was built with local logs and clapboard siding.
The present structure you see when visiting was built in 1966, constructed after the original had burned to the ground.
5. Russian Block House
This Russian Block House is a replica of a traditional Russian blockhouse. It was erected to symbolize Russia's role in Alaska's history. Erected in the 1960s, it replaced a previous one built in the 1920s.
The Russians originally built a capital D-shaped five-sided blockhouse on this site facing outwards to Sitka Channel. This blockhouse overlooked the gate between the Russian outpost and the adjacent Tlingit village but was removed after the 1867 transfer of Alaska from Russia to America.
6. Princess Maksoutoff’s Grave
Located behind the Pioneer Home in Sitka, the grave of Princess Maksoutoff is surrounded by a white picket fence. She was the first wife of Alaska’s last Russian American governor, Dimitrii Maksoutoff, and died soon after arriving in Alaska.
7. St. Peter’s by The Sea Episcopal Church
St Peter's by the Sea Episcopal Church, 611 Lincoln St, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
St. Peter's by The Seas Episcopal Church was erected in the late 1890s and held its first service in 1899. St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, and the bishop’s residence the "See House" are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church is open daily to stop by for quiet reflection and prayer.
Have you visited any of these historic sites in Alaska? What did you think? Were they amazing? Just let us know in the comments below!
Looking for more to do in beautiful Sitka? Dine on the local seafood, and try this small-town restaurant for the
most delicious crab in Alaska. Address: Sitka, AK, USA Address: Sitka National Historical Park Main Entrance, Sitka, AK 99835, USA Address: Castle Hill, Sitka, AK 99835, USA Address: St Michael's Russian Orthodox, 5025 E Mill Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147, USA Address: St Peter's by the Sea Episcopal Church, 611 Lincoln St, Sitka, AK 99835, USA Address: Russian-American Building No. 29, 202-206 Lincoln St, Sitka, AK 99835, USA