Totem Bight State Historical Park is a 33acre state park in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located north of Ketchikan.A visit to Saxman Native Village represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Ketchikan route builder to plot your vacation.
The park is located on the former site of a traditional Native campground known as Mud Village and Mud Bight Village. It contains a collection of totem poles and a replica of a traditional chieftain's house. This wood-frame structure has a low oval entrance, leading into a square chamber with a central fire pit, decorated with carved "house posts". A stylized raven adorns the main facade. The carvings on the house were executed by Charles Brown, a Native from Saxman.
The United States Forest Service used Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) funds to hire skilled carvers from among the older Native Alaskans to repair or duplicate totem poles that were abandoned when the natives moved to communities where work was available. The CCC project built the community house and placed 15 totem poles, most of them replicas of 19th-century poles. At statehood in 1959, title to the land passed from the federal government to the State of Alaska.
The historic site, comprising of the park, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 27, 1970.
Saxman Native Village reviews
Our tour guide was great and the totem poles and the stories were interesting. Seeing the array of poles there and the history of each pole was interesting. The clan house and the related stories was something you could get your head around picturing 60 to 80 individuals in the clan house and the central fire pit; as well as the story of the children being responsible for keeping the fire going. Good visit worth the price.
This is an amazing place to visit, especially after being on a cruise ship for 5 days. The flora and fauna are breathtaking and they give an amazing glimpse into the climate here in Ketchikan, my favorite stop in Alaska. The totem poles tell a story, each and every one, some describe a beginning and some an end, and there are no inanimate carvings, only humans and animals, and spirit animals. It is a place to breathe deep and realize just how small yet significant man is on this planet. It is a wonder to imagine teachings and folklore from years before us, and to ponder what it will take to preserve the past. Please visit this humble yet proud place, it is truly remarkable.
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