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Sitka in Sitka Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
 

Ladies of the Hill

 
 
Ladies of the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
1. Ladies of the Hill Marker
Inscription.  Imagine your spouse is appointed as the top official in a distant land. You must now travel thousands of miles to Sitka and make this hill your family's new home.

Elisabeth von Wrangell
Ferdinand von Wrangell, the first governor of Russian America required to have a wife with him in Sitka, was a bachelor at the time of his appointment in 1829. Seeking a bride, he met 19-year old Elisabeth de Rossillon who captivated him. They soon began their marriage with an 18-month journey from Estonia through Siberia and the North Pacific to Sitka. From 1830-1835, Elisabeth represented the Imperial Crown from Sitka and set an example for subsequent governors' wives.
… every day new officials join our table … and however tightly-knit this circle may be, it harbors by far more interesting elements than the customary reunions at home in our cities!" — Baroness Elisabeth von Wrangell
Anna Furuhjelm
When Johan Hampus Furuhjelm discovered he would be the governor of Russian America, he set out to find a wife. Through mutual friends, he met Anna von Schoultz at a ball on December 24, 1858. After
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a whirlwind engagement, they married on February 2, 1859. Hours after their wedding, they left Helsinki bound for Sitka. As the governor's wife from 1859-1864, Anna entertained numerous officials and took charge of the school for girls of mixed Russian and Native heritage.
"I know that I shall ever entertain an affectionate and fond remembrance of Sitka, this my first Home and the birthplace of some of our children … Of course life here has its drawbacks and trials, but where can it be otherwise? — Anna Furuhjelm
Marietta Davis
Marietta Davis moved to Sitka with her husband, General Jefferson C. Davis, the first U.S. Army Commander in charge of the Military District of Alaska. Marietta was one of the few women to witness the Alaska transfer ceremony on October 18, 1867. Upon arrival, the Davises shared a house with the former Russian governor, Prince Dmitri Maksutov, and his family. Marietta embraced Sitka's social life. She and the other ladies planned weekly surprise parties in which about 50 Russian and American partygoers took a house by storm.
"The most serious difficulty to living here is the scarceness of food. I mean anything like variety." — Marietta Davis

Captions:
• Elisabeth von Wrangell From the Baltic to Russian America, 1829-1836 by Alix O'Grady
•
Marker detail: Elisabeth von Wrangell image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
2. Marker detail: Elisabeth von Wrangell
Anna and Johan Furuhjelm - 1859 Letters from the Governor's Wife: A View of Russian Alaska, 1856-1862, edited by Paul Christesen
• American soldiers pose for a picture in the Governor's Garden (1868) Lone Mountain College Collection of Photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, The Bancroft Library, The University of California-Berkeley.
• Background: New Archangel (Sitka) on Baranof Island in the 1840s Oil on canvas by Magnus von Wright, Sitka Pictures Collection, Alaska Office of History and Archeology
 
Erected by Alaska Department of Natural Resources • Alaska Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesWomen. A significant historical date for this entry is February 2, 1859.
 
Location. 57° 2.916′ N, 135° 20.288′ W. Marker is in Sitka, Alaska, in Sitka Borough. Marker is atop Castle Hill in Baranof Castle State Historic Site. It can be reached via a stairway from Lincoln Street or an accessible but steep paved path from Harbor Road. 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. History of Castle Hill (1804-1867) (here, next to this marker); Men of the Hill (here, next to this marker); In This Place (here, next
Marker detail: Anna and Johan Furuhjelm image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
3. Marker detail: Anna and Johan Furuhjelm
to this marker); History of Castle Hill (-1804) (a few steps from this marker); A Town for an Empire (a few steps from this marker); Noow Tlein (a few steps from this marker); History of Castle Hill (1867-) (a few steps from this marker); American Flag Raising Site (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sitka.
 
Marker detail: American soldiers pose in the Governor's Garden image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
4. Marker detail: American soldiers pose in the Governor's Garden
Ladies of the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 1, 2021
5. Ladies of the Hill Marker
Marker background (original) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Magnus von Wright / Fair use, 1839
6. Marker background (original)
Ryska kolonin Sitka i Alaska (The Russian colony of Sitka in Alaska) by Finnish painter Magnus von Wright.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 8, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 209 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 8, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Feb. 27, 2024