The History of Seldovia

Seldovia is far more than just one of the premier destinations for fishing vacations in Alaska—we’re a community rich in history and rife with culture. Take a gander at a brief history of our town and some of the exciting things that make us a unique Alaskan destination.

The Establishment of Seldovia

The Cook Inlet, where Seldovia is situated, owes its name to the British explorer James Cook, who, aboard the brigantine HMS Resolution, chartered the inlet and its surrounding waters on his last voyage in 1777. Later in 1823, an official settlement was established by a Russian fishing fleet drawn to the nutrient-rich fishing grounds off the Alaskan Native coast. But, to the native tribes of the region, both were relatively late comers…

…in fact, the countless bays and inlets and their sheltered waters had been home to Native people for thousands of years! For the northern tribes of the Kodiak Koniaqs, the Chugach people from Prince William Sound, the Aleuts from the Aleutians and the Tanaina Kenaitze people of the Cook Inlet, these waters had been an important meeting and trading area for eons.

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The Town Begins to Grow

With the growing influx of fur traders and more fishing fleets, Seldovia soon became an important shipping and supply center for the region, with salmon and herring runs supporting several canneries by the 1920s.

After the Sterling Highway was completed to Homer in the 1950s, Seldovia’s population and importance as a supply center began to dwindle. But, it was the 1964 Good Friday earthquake that caused the most rapid change in the community. The land beneath Seldovia settled four feet, forcing residents to rebuild much of the town on higher ground.