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Downtown Juneau in Juneau Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
 

Beginnings

Sea & Sky: Juneau's Links to the World

 
 
Beginnings Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 3, 2021
1. Beginnings Marker
Inscription.  Because Juneau cannot be reached by road, the waterfront has always been Juneau's doorway to the outside world. Today travelers and freight continue to arrive at this waterfront by sea and air.

The first vessels on the Gastineau Channel were the great dugout canoes of the Tlingit people who lived along the mainland coast and the islands of the Alexander Archipelago. Each canoe was hewn from a single giant cedar log. The first merchant steamship anchored in Juneau's harbor in 1881, the year after gold was discovered here. It carried tools and provisions, entrepreneurs to sell them — and more prospectors.

The first airplane over Juneau flew up the Gastineau Channel in 1920. Flying low over the waterfront and Front Street (now South Franklin), it ceremoniously dropped a decorated package addressed to Thomas Riggs, Alaska's Territorial governor. The package contained a copy of the New York Times. The first plane to take off from Juneau arrived as ship's cargo. The aircraft was shipped in pieces and assembled here. It took to the air from a pile of mine tailings just south of downtown and landed on the beach in Skagway in
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1922.

Regional aviation took off from these waters because Juneau was Alaska's hub. The floatplane was an ideal craft for reaching surrounding settlements.

Captions (left to right)
• A Northwest style red cedar canoe in Douglas (Early Prints Collections Alaska State Library-PCA 88-001)
• The steamer City of Seattle arrives with Gov. W. B. Hoggatt, June 20, 1908. (Early Prints Collection: Alaska State Library PCA 39-0364)
• The first airplane sighted over Juneau in 1920. (Early Prints Collection, Alaska State Library PCA 87-1089)
• Embossing Stamp Juneau-Douglas City Museum
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is June 20, 1908.
 
Location. 58° 17.946′ N, 134° 24.397′ 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 in Marine Park, north of the cruise ship berths. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 144 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. Gold Mining (here, next to this marker); Waterfront Commerce (here, next to this marker); Passenger Traffic (here, next to this
Beginnings Marker detail (original) image. Click for full size.
Case & Draper (via Alaska State Library, Historical Collections), June 20, 1908
2. Beginnings Marker detail (original)
The City of Seattle, with Alaska Gov. W. B. Hoggatt aboard, arrives in Juneau.
marker); Marine Highway (here, next to this marker); U.S. Military Presence (here, next to this marker); Floating Hangars (here, next to this marker); Local Airlines (a few steps from this marker); Alaska Airlines (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Juneau.
 
Beginnings Marker detail (original) image. Click for full size.
Winter & Pond (via Alaska State Library, Historical Collections), 1920
3. Beginnings Marker detail (original)
One of four U.S. Army Black Wolf Squadron planes making a trip from Mineola, New York to Nome. The plane, en route to Whitehorse, dropped a message for Governor Riggs.
Beginnings Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 3, 2021
4. Beginnings Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 92 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 13, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   2, 3. submitted on September 14, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   4. submitted on September 13, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Apr. 17, 2024