Petersburg, Alaska

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{household, population, female}
{water, park, boat}
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{area, community, home}
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Petersburg (Tlingit: Gántiyaakw Séedi “Steamboat Canyon”) is a city in Petersburg Census Area, Alaska, in the United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,010.[1]



The north end of Mitkof Island was a summer fish camp utilized by Kake Tlingits from Kupreanof Island. Remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 2,000 years. Alaskan Natives began living year-round at the site, including Chief John Lot. Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in the late 1890s and homesteaded on the north end of the island. He built a cannery (thanks to the plentiful number of icebergs from the nearby LeConte Glacier which would provide a source for cooling fish), a sawmill, and a dock between 1890 and 1900. His family's homesteads grew into Petersburg which, by 1910 was incorporated and was populated largely by people of Scandinavian origin thus giving Petersburg the nickname "Little Norway". May 17 (Norwegian Constitution Day) is celebrated annually in Petersburg on the third weekend in May. The cannery, along with three others have operated continuously since their completion. Petersburg is one of Alaska's major fishing communities.


Petersburg is located on the north end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meets Frederick Sound. Petersburg is halfway between Juneau, 190 km (120 miles) to the north, and Ketchikan, 180 km (110 miles) to the south.

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