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Sitka in Sitka Borough, Alaska — The American West (Northwest)
 

Sentinel of a Divided Town

 
 
Sitka Blockhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
1. Sitka Blockhouse Marker
Inscription.  The replica blockhouse before you, a symbol of Russia's role in Alaska's history, represents the walled fortifications that defined the limits of its control.

These blockhouses, or watchtowers, each housing cannons, protected the Russian sentries from wind and rain as they guarded Novo-Archangelsk (present day Sitka).

Originally the Russians built capital D-shaped five-sided blockhouse on this site facing up Sitka Channel. It overlooked the gate between the Russian outpost and the adjacent Tlingit village. An octagonal blockhouse stood within sight of the crest of the hill, while at the far eastern end of the wall stood a small, square blockhouse by the stream flowing out of Swan Lake.

Maps indicate that the small, square blockhouse was removed soon after the 1867 transfer of Alaska from Russia to America. Badly rotted, the D-shaped blockhouse was dismantled in 1899, and the octagonal one was dismantled in 1921.

In 1926 civic-minded citizens, including the Alaska Native Brotherhood, raised funds and built an octagonal reproduction blockhouse at Sitka National Monument. After decay attacked that structure,
Sitka Blockhouse and Interpretive Placard image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
2. Sitka Blockhouse and Interpretive Placard
a second octagonal reproduction was built at this site in 1962.
 
Erected by Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage Field Office.
 
Location. 57° 3.041′ N, 135° 20.317′ W. Marker is in Sitka, Alaska, in Sitka Borough. Marker can be reached from Kaagwaantaan Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Kaagwaantaan Street, Sitka AK 99835, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 250th Anniversary of the Bering- Chirikov Expedition (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall (about 500 feet away); Tilson Building (about 600 feet away); St. Michael's Cathedral (about 700 feet away); In This Place (about 800 feet away); Emmons House (approx. 0.3 miles away).
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesSettlements & Settlers
 
Sitka Blockhouse image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, May 16, 2011
3. Sitka Blockhouse
 
More. Search the internet for Sentinel of a Divided Town.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Last updated on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 15, 2019, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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