Place:Hoonah, Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon, Alaska, United States


Coordinates58.109°N 135.436°W
Located inSkagway-Hoonah-Angoon, Alaska, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

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Hoonah (Xunaa in Tlingit) is a Tlingit community on Chichagof Island, located in Alaska's panhandle in the southeast region of the state. It is 30 miles west of Juneau, across the Alaskan Inside Passage. Hoonah is the only first-class city on Chichagof Island, the 109th largest island in the world and the 5th largest island in the United States. At the 2000 census the population was 860, though summer population can swell to over 1300 depending on fishing, boating, hiking and hunting conditions. Hoonah became the official spelling in 1901, with establishment of the Hoonah branch of the United States Post Office. X'una means "village by the cliff" or "place protected from the North Wind" in the Tlingit language.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Legend tells of an original home of the Huna in Glacier Bay that was destroyed by a glacial advance, at which time many Huna moved to the location of present-day Hoonah.

A partial timeline of modern Hoonah history is below:

  • 1880 - The North West Trading Company built the first store in Hoonah.
  • 1881 - The Presbyterian Home Mission and school was built.
  • 1887 - 450 to 500 people were wintering in the village.
  • 1901 - Hoonah post office was opened.
  • 1912 - The Hoonah Packing Co. built a large cannery north of town. The cannery was shut down and is now a tourist attraction. Icy Strait Point.
  • 1944 - A fire destroyed much of Hoonah, including many priceless Tlingit cultural objects. The United States federal government assisted in rebuilding Hoonah.
  • 1953 - Last year that Icy Strait Salmon Company operated as a full fledged canning operation. From this point until 1999 the property functioned as a maintenance and support facility for the seine boat fishing fleet.
  • 1964 - First High School graduating class from Hoonah High School graduated in May
  • 2001 - Groundbreaking ceremony for Icy Strait Point, at abandon Hoonah Packing Company site.[1]
  • 2004 - Celebrity MV Mercury makes inaugural call at Icy Strait Point.[1]
  • 2007 - ZipRider! The world's largest zipline opens at Icy Strait Point.
  • 2010 - Alaska State Troopers assisted Hoonah police in a 2-day manhunt for a man who was reported to be armed in a wooded area in the city. He was later apprehended without incident.
  • 2010 - A fire and subsequent series of explosions destroyed the Icy Strait Lumber Mill. No criminal activity was suspected in the fire.
  • 2010 - Two police officers from the city were shot and killed in an ambush on Front Street. The suspect subsequently barricaded himself inside of his own home on August 29, 2010. State, local and federal law enforcement officers and SWAT personnel from agencies throughout Alaska responded in the wake of the shooting. The suspect, John Marvin, was taken into custody the next day.

The officers killed in the incident were: Officer Matthew D. Tokuoka, 39 and Sgt. Anthony M. Wallace, 32. Tokuoka was a former Marine who served in special operations; Wallace was a former All-American collegiate wrestler and one of only a handful of legally-deaf police officers in the United States. Police identified the alleged lone gunman as John Marvin Jr., 45, a local resident with a lengthy criminal record. Marvin was arrested after a 2-day standoff and charged with 2 counts of 1st degree murder and other charges arising from the incident. The murders of the two officers in the 4-officer agency was the highest per capita loss of lives for police in modern Alaska history. Over 1100 citizens and peace officers from all over Alaska, the U.S. mainland and Canada attended the slain officer's funeral, along with Governor Sean Parnell and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski. The service was the largest officer funeral in Alaska police history and the largest gathering in the history of Hoonah. The State of Alaska provided an extra ferry and charged no fee for those attending the funeral.

  • The town of Hoonah appears in episodes of the Discovery Channel show "Alaskan Bush People".

Education & Schools

Sheldon Jackson established the first school house & teacher's residence in November 1881. The school was initially overseen by Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Styles of New York until their transfer to Sitka in 1882. The Reverend and Mrs. John McFarland assumed responsibility for the school in 1884 and by 1885 219 Tlingit students were enrolled, 69, boys, 76 girls and 74 adults. A Territorial school and Government school were built in 1923. In 1932 the Government school was demolished and replaced by a Bureau of Indian Affairs school.

Hoonah City Schools currently serves the needs of Hoonah's elementary and secondary students. Nine graduating seniors made up Hoonah City Schools class of 2013.

Hoonah Packing Company

Hoonah Packing Company ("HPC") built in 1912 was one of eight canneries operating in the area during the early twentieth century, representing Hoonah's major industry at the time. HPC was sold several times until coming to be owned by Wards Cove Packing which also owned Hoonah Trading. The Cannery ceased operating in 1954, but continued to see use by commercial fishermen for storing and repairing their boats and gear.[2]

Research Tips

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