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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sitka in Sitka Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
 

Story of a Hill

 
 
Story of a Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
1. Story of a Hill Marker
Inscription.  This hill's location and the fact that it was once practically an island during high tides made it an ideal and highly defensible site valued by three different nations. Here, the course of Alaska's history changed.

Noow Tlein
The Tlingit once controlled most of Southeast Alaska. This hill, known as Noow Tlein, was strategically located in their territory — a lookout point for defending their home and resources. It is thought that the Tlingit built four important clan houses atop it. However, big changes were on the horizon.

Novoarkhangel'sk
In 1799, Russian fur traders, led by Alexander Baranov, established a fort on Tlingit land at nearby Gájaa Héen, now Old Sitka State Historical Park. The Tlingit destroyed the Russian fort two years later. Baranov returned in 1804 and, after six days of fighting at the Indian River, he claimed Noow Tlein for Russia; he called it Novoarkhangel'sk (New Archangel). Soon, the new redoubt included living quarters, fortifications, and cannons.*

Castle Hill
After decades of rule, Russia sold Alaska to the United States.
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On October 18, 1867, a transfer ceremony took place at this site and here the American flag was raised over Alaska. Ninety-two years later, Alaska became the 49th state of the Union and, over this hill, one of the first American flags with 49 stars flew. This place is often called "Castle Hill."

Captions
(Center right) Background: Novoarkhangel'sk, 1805. Drawing by Lisienaka Sitka Pictures Collection, Alaska Office of History and Archaeology
(Bottom left) Photo of "Baranov's Castle" with customs house and barracks below. The American flag is flying in the courtyard. Sitka Pictures Collection, Alaska Office of History and Archaeology

* To learn more about these battles, visit Old Sitka State Historical Park and Sitka National Historical Park
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical date for this entry is October 18, 1867.
 
Location. 57° 2.916′ N, 135° 20.223′ W. Marker is in Sitka, Alaska, in Sitka Borough. Marker can be reached from Harbor Drive, 0.1 miles west of O'Connell Bridge (Route F-99), on the right when traveling west. Marker is in kiosk at the base of the trail to the top of Castle Hill. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sitka AK 99835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Forgotten Workers of the Russian-American Company (here, next
Story of a Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
2. Story of a Hill Marker
This marker is on the left.
to this marker); History of Castle Hill (1867-) (within shouting distance of this marker); A Town for an Empire (within shouting distance of this marker); Alaska Purchase (within shouting distance of this marker); In This Place (within shouting distance of this marker); American Sitka (within shouting distance of this marker); Ladies of the Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Castle Hill (1804-1867) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sitka.
 
Also see . . .  Castle Hill (Sitka, Alaska). Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on September 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
Baranof Castle State Historic Site image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
3. Baranof Castle State Historic Site
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 238 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Feb. 28, 2024