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Douglas is a community on Douglas Island in southeastern Alaska, directly across the Gastineau Channel from downtown Juneau.The only traditional school left on Douglas is Gastineau Elementary, which serves all the Douglas Island elementary-aged students; the Douglas Public Library is part of the Juneau Public Library System. Douglas has a few restaurants and bars (The Island Pub, Louie's Douglas Inn, and The Douglas Café), a local live theater (Perseverance Theater), and a gas station. The town’s population has dropped over the years but recently is up to about 3,000 people, or close to ten percent of the City and Borough of Juneau’s population. Douglas gets its water and electricity from Juneau and has a mix of onsite and municipal (diverted to Juneau) wastewater treatment.The Alaska Department of Corrections has its headquarters in Douglas.HistoryDouglas Island was originally a border of the Auke people’s and Taku people’s territory. It was not usually used for year-round settlement, but rather as a place to spend the summer, or at times a place for battles.Some historical reports indicate an early settler to the area may be credited for the naming of Douglas Island.In 1880 gold was discovered in Juneau, Alaska, across the narrow Gastineau Channel, drawing in all kinds of people looking to strike it rich. In 1881 two towns sprouted up on Douglas Island: Treadwell and Douglas. Treadwell was the community for the miners, with its own entertainment, pool, and bar. Douglas, too, had businesses popping up and soon had its own school and post office. A railroad and boardwalk connected the two towns. At this time the Treadwell power plant was large enough to power the entire Treadwell area, Douglas, and Juneau. The power plant continued to serve the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine until the mine was shut down in 1944 by the War Department as non-essential to the war effort.Make your own Douglas vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our United States trip website.
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