Visiting Totem Bight State Historical Park is a great learning experience. When non-native settlements started growing in Alaska in the early 1900’s, native Indians were forced to move to communities where work was abundant. They left their villages and totem poles which soon became overrun by forests and eroded by weather.
Fortunately, the U.S. Forest Services started a program aimed at reconstructing and salvaging massive cedar monuments. With the use of the CCC or the Civilian Conservation Corps funds, Native skilled carvers were hired. Young artisans were also taught the art of carving totem poles to preserve the tradition.
Totem Bight State Historical Park, located in Alaska, offers guests the chance to see a glimpse of Alaska’s past. The park consists of 15 totem poles and a community house. If you happen to have a pet dog, you need not worry about leaving them at the sitter’s or with friends while you discover Alaska’s history.
You can always bring them with you as they welcome pets. Approximately 10 miles north of Ketchikan, several excursions and tours visit the park. If you want to experience Ketchikan on your own, you may take the public transportation or rent a car during your visit.
Just beside Totem Bight is Potlatch Park, another excellent place to see Native American totem poles. The primary park attraction is the Clan House which offers guests an inside look into the past so that they can learn more about Native culture and family life. Strolling through the spires of 14 totem poles allows these silent storytellers to pass down the oral traditions of the Natives from one generation to another.
The area is abundant with various wildlife including wolves, black bears, brown bears, humpback whales, bald eagles, salmon, and orcas. The park’s viewing deck is a prime spot for visitors to capture incredible moments of wildlife and nature along the Tongass Narrows. Totem Bight was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1970.