Thursday, June 19, 2014

Haines, Alaska: Fort Seward

Haines actually had a good-sized military installation for a number of years. The catch is that those years were before Alaska became a state.

The Army decided in 1903 that the location was a good spot for a base, and went to work. The first soldiers arrived in 1904, and Fort William H. Seward - something else named for the guy who headed up the purchase of the territory from Russia - was in business. The name was changed to Chilkoot Barracks in 1922.

The fort was a center of activity for several years. But after World War II, the army decided to move their business to more strategic locations. Still, the base still plays a role in the day-to-day life of Haines.

Pictured above are some nice quarters for the officers, etc. The buildings are private homes now, and offer a great view of the waterfront. Across the street is an open space, that was used at the time for drilling and formations. It's nine acres in size.

Some of the other buildings in Haines once had military uses as well. For example, the ferry office by the port was a telegraph office.

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