Home Rule City
in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 Department of Labor Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (ket' chuh kan)
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
Geography and Climate
- Ketchikan is located on the southwestern coast of Revillagigedo Island, opposite Gravina Island, near the southern boundary of Alaska. It is 679 miles north of Seattle and 235 miles south of Juneau. The 2.2 million acre Misty Fiords National Monument lies 22 air miles east of Ketchikan. It is the first Alaska port of call for northbound cruise ships and state ferries.
- The area lies in a maritime climate zone noted for its warm winters, cool summers, and heavy precipitation. Summer temperatures range from 51 to 65 °F; winter temperatures range from 29 to 39 °F. Ketchikan averages 162 inches (13.5 feet) of precipitation annually, with 32 inches of snowfall.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits used Ketchikan Creek as a fish camp, which they called "kitschk-hin," meaning creek of "the thundering wings of an eagle." The abundant fish and timber resources attracted non-Natives to Ketchikan. In 1885, Mike Martin bought 160 acres from Chief Kyan, which later became the township. The first cannery opened in 1886 near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek and four more were built by 1912. The Ketchikan Post Office was established in 1892, and the city was incorporated in 1900. By this time, nearby gold and copper discoveries had briefly brought activity to Ketchikan as a mining supply center. During 1936, seven canneries were in operation, producing 1.5 million cases of salmon. The need for lumber for new construction and packing boxes spawned the Ketchikan Spruce Mills in 1903, which operated for over 70 years. Spruce was in high demand during World War II, and Ketchikan became a supply center for area logging. A $55 million pulp mill was constructed at Ward Cove near Ketchikan in 1954. Its operation fueled the growth of the community. The mill's 50-year contract with the U.S. Forest service for timber was canceled, and the pulp mill closed in March 1997.
- Ketchikan is a diverse community. Most Native residents are Tlingit. The largest collection of totem poles in the world is found at Totem Bight State Historical Park, Saxman Native Village, and the Totem Heritage Center Museum.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Ketchikan Indian Community
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewar, Electri, Refuse Collection, Landfill/Baler, Hazardous Waste Disposal, Police, Fire, EMS, Ambulance, Harbor/Port, Telephone, Bayveiw Cemetary, Library, Museaum, Ted Ferry Civic Center, Roads, Parking, Building Permits
- Regularly-scheduled jet services offer air service. The state-owned Ketchikan International Airport has a paved, lighted 7,500' long by 150' wide asphalt runway. The airport lies on Gravina Island, a 10-minute ferry ride from Ketchikan's waterfront. Ketchikan is a regional transportation hub, with numerous air taxi services to surrounding communities. There are four major float plane landing facilities: Tongass Narrows, Peninsula Point, Ketchikan Harbor, and Murphy's. Ketchikan is the first port of call in Alaska for cruise ships and Alaska Marine Highway vessels. Harbor and docking facilities include a breakwater, a deep draft dock, five small boat harbors, a dry dock and ship repair yard, boat launch, and a state ferry terminal. The shipyard is privately owned. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority operates a once-daily, year-round ferry service between Ketchikan and Hollis.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District