Museums - Tongass Historical Museum
Discover Alaska's feisty "First City" at the Tongass Historical Museum through our informative exhibits . Rare artifacts and historical photographs tell the authentic tale of Ketchikan as a Native fish camp, gold and copper mining center, fishing port, timber town, cannery site, transportation hub, and lively community.
September 6, 2016 - April 30, 2017: Closed to the public due to renovation of the main floor.
Staff is available in the lower level by appointment Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call 907-225-5600 to schedule an appointment. There is a moratorium on donations and research through December 2016.
Children 12 and under: Free.
Admission is charged May through September. Admission is free for local residents.
Directions and Map
The Tongass Historical Museum is centrally located downtown at 629 Dock Street, near the northern Creek Street entrance. The Museum is a quick 10 minute walk or 5 minute drive from the cruise ship berths.
Visit by foot or by car
From Front Street, travel south along the waterfront, continue left onto Mission Street and left onto Bawden Street. Take a right onto Dock Street. The Museum is located in the Centennial Building to the left of the entrance to Creek Street. Ample parking is available in the parking lot in front of the Museum.
Visit by Bus
Free Shuttle (May thru September):
The free downtown Salmon Run Bus operates on a 20-minute loop 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily serving the downtown area, cruise ship berths and several attractions including the Tongass Historical Museum and the Totem Heritage Center. Look for the bus with brightly painted fish!
Year-Round Bus Service:
The Borough Bus System lines make regular stops at the main bus stop directly in front of the Tongass Historical Museum. Bus fare is $1 for adults and $0.50 for students and seniors. Click here for timetables and route maps
Please note that effective June 1, 2016, Ketchikan Museums will impose a moratorium on research and reproduction requests until December 31, 2016.
Research requests and photo orders
Effective June 1, 2016, Ketchikan Museums will impose a moratorium on research and reproduction requests until December 31, 2016. This is necessary to allow our staff to focus on collections care during the renovation of the Centennial Building. Please check our website for updates about when research services will be offered again.
Research requests and photo orders initiated by June 1, 2016 are being honored. At this time, we are able to accommodate one appointment per researcher per week. In limited instances for City of Ketchikan or other governmental inquiries, we will respond to the request within 2 weeks. We regret any inconvenience the moratorium may cause to your research plans and appreciate your understanding. The renovation of the Centennial Building will result in improved care of and access to the Ketchikan Museums’ collection in the long term.
We invite you to explore the following on-line resources to help with your research needs:
Recently, over a million documents have been scanned by FamilySearch.org in partnership with the Alaska State Archives to make records available to the public for Alaskan genealogy research. This new resource is available here: http://archives.alaska.gov/for_researchers/coll_digital.html
Alaska Digital Archives: http://vilda.alaska.edu/
Alaska Historical Society: http://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/