Downtown Juneau in Juneau Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
Lighthouses of Alaska
Lighthouses capture our imagination as lonely sentinels of the sea. They played a vital role in Alaska's development because for more than 70 years, ships carried almost all people and goods between Alaska and the Lower 48. World War II military needs spurred development of highway and air transport.
Russian officials lighted the earliest beacons. The first light marked the seaward entrance to Sitka Harbor. Later, seal-oil lanterns with copper reflectors were placed atop Baranof's Castle, the Russian American Company's administration building. Both guided ships bound for the capital of Russian America, now Sitka. When an approaching ship fired a signal cannon, the beacons were set alight.
After the 1867 Alaska Purchase, the United States built 16 lighthouses in its new territory. Civilian keepers tended the lights until 1939, when the Lighthouse Service became part of the Coast Guard. During World War II, the lighthouses served as military observation stations, their beacons extinguished briefly following the Pearl Harbor attack.
Although Alaska's lighthouses, like those around the nation, no longer have resident keepers, the Coast Guard maintains automated lights. The state has determined that all 12 remaining lighthouses are eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lighthouses series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
Location. 58° 17.914′ N, 134° 24.328′ W. Marker is in Juneau, Alaska, in Juneau Borough. It is in Downtown Juneau. Marker can be reached from Marine Way. Marker is on the Juneau Harbor boardwalk, south of Marine Park and across from the cruise ship berths. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 252 Marine Way, Juneau AK 99801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cape Decision (here, next to this marker); Patsy Ann: her statue (here, next to this marker); Sentinel Island (here, next to this marker); Five Finger (here, Patsy Ann: her history (here, next to this marker); Mary Island (here, next to this marker); Tree Point (here, next to this marker); Guard Islands (here, next to this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Juneau.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 12, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.