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Visiting Ketchikan, Alaska: Its 1904 St. John's Episcopal Church Prominent at its Downtown

Updated on January 30, 2020
State flag of Alaska
State flag of Alaska | Source
Downtown Ketchikan Historic District - St John's Episcopal Church
Downtown Ketchikan Historic District - St John's Episcopal Church | Source

Prominent in Ketchikan's Downtown, but dwarfed by mountains

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]

A conspicuous building in the Downtown area of Ketchikan, Alaska is St. John's Episcopal Church (1), which dates from 1904.

Stylistically, this wooden building shows Gothic influence at its pointed window arches; some of the window arching arguably anticipates Art Deco styling also. Red cedar was used in the building's construction; this was milled at nearby Saxman.

Long referred to as Alaska's First City, Ketchikan was a small village when St John's Episcopal Church was constructed. Stained glass windows were added in the 1930s.

Situated at 503 Mission Street, Ketchikan, the name of the street seemingly reflects the prior establishment of St Agnes Mission close to the present structure's site, in 1898. Another congregation in Ketchikan — St Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, strongly identified with Native Alaskan congregants — operated separately for a number of decades.

A hospital was formerly housed in a neighbouring building in the early years of the existence of St. John's Episcopal Church. Interestingly, St. John's once stood at the water's edge of the harbour, but two street blocks of land have been reclaimed since the time when once could originally sail to St. John's Episcopal Church, and berth one's boat next to the building.

St John's is prominent in Ketchikan's Downtown, but also dwarfed by mountains, as the main photo, above, indicates; the highest of these is Deer Mountain (see 'Also worth seeing', below), which rises to 915 metres (3,001.97 feet).

Water and mountains seem thus to be strong leitmotive to the situation of Downtown Ketchikan and St. John's history and situation certainly reflects this.

St John's Episcopal Church is included in the US Register of Historic Places.

January 21, 2020

Note

(1) See also: https://www.inspirock.com/united-states/ketchikan/st-johns-episcopal-church-a6442177463 ;

https://encircleworldphotos.photoshelter.com/image/I0000LGyX4Bv7YNE

St. John's Episcopal Church and hospital, Ketchikan, Alaska, August 1904
St. John's Episcopal Church and hospital, Ketchikan, Alaska, August 1904 | Source

Also worth seeing

In Ketchikan itself, visitors to the city often frequent the many gift stores specializing in Native Alaskan and other artwork; First Lutheran Church in Newtown was built in 1930 principally on account of the city's Norwegian population; the city is well known for its totem poles; located in the Tongass National Forest, the Deer Mountain National Recreation Trail leads to the landmark for which it is named, which, at 915 metres / 3,001.97 feet overlooks the city.

Misty Fiords National Monument (distance: 64 kilometres / 40 miles), governed by the US Forest Service, consists of 9,246 km2 / 2,294,343 acres of often near vertical glacial valleys, some of which rise to 600 to 900 metres / 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level and descend to 300 metres / 1000 feet below it; boat and floatplane tours [NB: Please check the FAA status of these floatplane tours] are organized from Ketchikan.

How to get there

Alaska Airlines and Delta Connection fly to Ketchikan International Airport, (distance — travel via ferry — from Downtown Ketchikan: 2 kilometres / 1.43 miles) from Seattle/Tacoma, WA, with wide North American connections; Princess Cruises and other cruise companies offer services to Ketichikan, often on a seasonal basis; some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada

Map location of Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States
Map location of Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States | Source

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