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Alaska Cruises Ketchikan, Alaska (KETCH-ih-kan)
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Current Population: 8,050 ( (2010)
Borough Located In: Ketchikan Gateway Borough
Taxes: 3.5% Sales, 2.5% Borough, 7% Bed

Location and Climate
Ketchikan is located on the southwestern coast of Revillagigedo Island, opposite Gravina Island, near the southern boundary of Alaska. It is 679 miles north of Seattle and 235 miles south of Juneau. The 2.2 million acre Misty Fiords National Monument lies 22 air miles east of Ketchikan. It is the first Alaska port of call for northbound cruise ships and State ferries. The community lies at approximately 55.342220° North Latitude and 131.646110° West Longitude (Sec. 30, T075S, R091E, Copper River Meridian). Ketchikan is located in the Ketchikan Recording District. The area encompasses 3.4 sq. miles of land and 0.8 sq. miles of water.

The area lies in the maritime climate zone noted for its warm winters, cool summers, and heavy precipitation. Summer temperatures range from 51 to 65; winter temperatures range from 29 to 39. Ketchikan averages 162 inches (13.5 feet) of precipitation annually, including 32 inches of snowfall.

History, Culture and Demographics
Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits have used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp which they called "kitschk-hin," meaning creek of the "thundering wings of an eagle." The abundant fish and timber resources attracted non-Natives to Ketchikan. In 1885, Mike Martin bought 160 acres from Chief Kyan, which later became the township. The first cannery opened in 1886 near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek and four more were built by 1912. The Ketchikan Post Office was established in 1892, and the City was incorporated in 1900. By this time, nearby gold and copper discoveries briefly brought activity to Ketchikan as a mining supply center. During 1936, seven canneries were in operation, producing 1.5 million cases of salmon. The need for lumber for new construction and packing boxes spawned the Ketchikan Spruce Mills in 1903, which operated for over 70 years. Spruce was in high demand during World War II, and Ketchikan became a supply center for area logging. A $55 million pulp mill was constructed at Ward Cove near Ketchikan in 1954. Its operation fueled the growth of the community. The mill's 50-year contract with the U.S. Forest service for timber was canceled, and the pulp mill closed in March 1997.

A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Ketchikan Indian Corporation; Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The population of the community consists of 22.7% Alaska Native or part Native. Ketchikan is a diverse community. Most Native residents are Tlingit. The largest collection of totem poles in the world is found here at Totem Bight State Historical Park, Saxman Native Village, and the Totem Heritage Center Museum.

According to Census 2010, there were 3,731 housing units in the community and 3,259 were occupied. Its population was 16.7 percent American Indian or Alaska Native; 60.7 percent white; 0.8 percent black; 10.8 percent Asian; 0.3 percent Pacific Islander; 10 percent of the local residents had multi-racial backgrounds. Additionally, 4.4 percent of the population was of Hispanic decent.

Economy and Transportation
Ketchikan is an industrial center and a major port of entry in Southeast Alaska, with a diverse economy. Ketchikan is supported by a large fishing fleet, fish processing, tourism and timber. 401 area residents hold commercial fishing permits. Several processing and cold storage facilities support the fishing industry. The state operates the Deer Mountain Hatchery which produces over 450,000 King, Coho, Steelhead and rainbow trout annually. Cruise ships bring over 650,000 visitors, and another 50,000 independent travelers visit Ketchikan each year. The Ketchikan Visitors Association office building provides a visitor center and retail space for 20 tourism operators.

Regularly-scheduled jet services offer three northbound and three southbound departures daily. The State-owned Ketchikan International Airport offers a paved, lighted 7,500' long by 150' wide asphalt runway. The airport lies on Gravina Island, a 10-minute ferry ride to the waterfront. Ketchikan is a regional transportation hub, with numerous air taxi services to surrounding communities. There are four float plane landing facilities: Tongass Narrows, Peninsula Point, Ketchikan Harbor, and Murphy's. Ketchikan is the first port of call in Alaska for cruise ships and Alaska Marine Highway vessels. Harbor and docking facilities include a breakwater, a deep draft dock, five small boat harbors, a dry dock and ship repair yard, boat launch, and a State ferry terminal. The shipyard is privately-owned, and is used for repairs to the Alaska Ferry and offshore fish processors. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority operates a once-daily, year-round ferry service between Ketchikan and Hollis.

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Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
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