Hoonah, Alaska

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Hoonah is a Tlingit community on Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 860. Its name means "village by the cliff" in the Tlingit language.



Legend tells of an original home of the Huna in Glacier Bay that was destroyed by a glacial advance, at which time many Huna moved to the location of present-day Hoonah.

A partial timeline of modern Hoonah history is below:

  • 1880 - The Northwest Trading Company built the first store in Hoonah.
  • 1881 - The Presbyterian Home Mission and school was built.
  • 1887 - 450 to 500 people were wintering in the village.
  • 1901 - Hoonah post office was opened.
  • 1912 - The Hoonah Packing Co. built a large cannery north of town. The cannery was shut down and is now a tourist attraction. Icy Straight Point.
  • 1944 - A fire destroyed much of Hoonah, including many priceless Tlingit cultural objects. The United States federal government assisted in rebuilding Hoonah.
  • 2010 - Two police officers from the village were shot and killed by an armed man who subsequently barricaded himself inside of his own home on August 29, 2010. Police agencies from around Alaska responded in the wake of the shooting. Killed in the incident were Officer Matthew Tokuoka, 39, and Sgt. Anthony Wallace, 32. Police identified the alleged gunman as John Marvin Jr., a local resident.[1] Marvin was taken into custody the next day.[2]


Hoonah is on the north shore of Chichagof Island, on Icy Strait, at 58°6′34″N 135°26′11″W / 58.10944°N 135.43639°W / 58.10944; -135.43639 (58.109435, -135.436349)[3]. The communities of Whitestone Logging Camp and Game Creek are also in its urban area. The port at Hoonah is called Port Frederick.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.5 km²), of which, 6.6 square miles (17.1 km²) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it (24.05%) is water.

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