Wrangell Island

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Inter-island Ferry Authority ferry M/V Stikine arriving in Wrangell, Alaska

Wrangell Island is an island in the Alaska Panhandle of southeastern Alaska. It is 48 km (30 mi) long and 8–23 km (3–14 miles) wide. It has a land area of 544.03 km2 (210.05 sq mi), making it the 29th largest island in the United States. Wrangell is separated from the mainland by the narrow Blake Channel.

Wrangell has been ruled by Russia, Great Britain and the United States.[1] It was visited in 1799 by The Dragon, a ship out of Boston, Massachusetts. They traded with the Stikine Tlingit peoples. It was occupied in 1834 by the Russians. It is named after Ferdinand Wrangel, a German explorer in Russian service. From 1867 to 1877 it was a U.S. military post. Later it was a stopping point for hunters, explorers and miners using the Stikine river route to the Yukon.

The island contains the city of Wrangell, Alaska. Wrangell Island is heavily forested and contains an abundance of wildlife. The only other community is Thoms Place. Wrangell Island's total population was 2,401 at the 2000 census. Fishing and mining are the main jobs. A sawmill closed in the 1990s. The island and surrounding areas contain many recreational areas. It is at the mouth of the Stikine River.

References[change | change source]

  1. Bonnie Demerjian, Wrangell (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishers, 2011), p. 7