Sitka National Historical Park

Sitka National Historical Park “whale” totem pole
Photo by: thirteenhbat, Creative Commons

It may come as a surprise for those who see Alaska as a land full of ice and glaciers that much can also be talked about their rich cultural heritage and their history. One proof is the existence of the Sitka National Historical Park. Located in Sitka city that sits on the Baranof Island, the national historical park serves as a remnant for the previous migration of Russian nationals in the area. Back in the early 1800’s, the exact site where the museum is built was the location of the infamous Battle of Sitka where native Tlingit battled against the Russian hunters.

The park was originally taken over by the US army to use for during war and training excercises. This caused some major environmental wreckage in the area. Such issue led the way to the park being turned over to a new handling team from the Department of the Interior. By such time, the needed restorations were made and the park went back to its former glory..

Aside from the natural preserves and breathtaking views in the area, the Sitka National Historical Park serves as a home for the native and authentic totem poles gathered from the different areas of Alaska. Originally designed to serve as a collection site for totem poles, it was then converted into a national museum so proper actions can be taken as well as creation of replicas which are now in display in the area. Local tribes and clans donated the totem poles to the organizers but these originals are now stored and preserved to prevent from future damage and deterioration.

Getting around the area to see the different totem poles need not be strenuous as many spruce trees and beautifully landscaped flowers adorn the hundred acre park.

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