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Museums - Tongass Historical Museum Exhibits

Current Exhibits

Featured in the temporary gallery:  Then & Now has been extended through September 2016.

Then and Now web.jpg

Permanent Exhibits

Our Town

Long before there was a town here, Tlingit Natives maintained a fish camp at the mouth of the stream we call Ketchikan Creek. They came every year in late summer to harvest the abundant run of pink salmon. In 1887, businessmen from Portland, Oregon established the Tongass Packing Company and built a small cannery here. In the middile of its third season, the cannery was destroyed by fire. Michael Martin and George Clark pruchased the land and built a salmon saltery where the cannery had been. Eventually, they opened a general store nearby. The rest, as they say, is history. Ketchikan has been a mining center, fishing port, cannery town, transportation hub, timber town, regional center of government and commerce and tourist destination. It has been called a variety of names, from "The Salmon Capital of the World" to the "Wickedest City in Alaska."  Through it all, our town has been friendly, resilient, independent, resourceful and proudly Alaskan.

For more than ten thousand years, humans have inhabited Southeast Alaska. Complex cultures, characterized by highly developed social structure and sophisticated art forms, developed among the Native people of this area. This exhibit features a superb selection of artifacts, ranging from pre-contact stone tools, to ceremonial garments and implements, to items created in the traditional style by contemporary Native artists.

Exhibit on permanent display

Virtual Exhibits  
Ketchikan Museum is working to increase the public's access to our collections. We are working to digitize our vast photography collection as well as provide high-quality photos of other artifacts for public viewing.  Check out what's currently available online here!

Upcoming Exhibits
The Tongass Historical Museum's temporary gallery features two new exhibits annually. The Fall/Winter exhibit opens in late October and runs through February.  The Spring/Summer exhibit opens in early April and runs through September.  Find out what's coming up next here!

Past Exhibits  
View Past Exhibits here.