Wild, Wonderful Wrangell
The City of Wrangell is located on the northern tip of Wrangell Island along the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska. One of the oldest non-native settlements in Alaska, it is on the Stikine River, a historic trade route to the Canadian Interior.
The community of Wrangell has had several identities since its 1811 beginnings as a fur-trading settlement for the Russian-American Company. When the U.S. purchased the Alaska Territory in 1867, it became a military post. When the early gold rushes began, it became an outfitter for gold prospecting. And as the gold waned, Wrangell's focus shifted to fishing, fish processing, and the beginnings of a forest products industry.
Like much of Alaska, Wrangell has diversified into tourism, however we have been able to retain our small-town charm and visitors often remark on how 'genuine' the community feels.
Wrangellites are, understandably, proud of our independence which might explain how the 4th of July Celebration has come to be our largest annual celebration. Families and friends return from afar and visitors are especially welcome to join in the revelry that runs from the 1st through the Fourth of July, culminating in - what else - a late night fireworks show.
Other seasonal celebrations include the Stikine River Birding Festival in the spring, Bearfest in late summer and Midnight Madness which kicks off the holiday season. A month-long King Salmon Derby ushers in summer as do the 'Queen Booths' - candidates who compete through food booths, raffles and a myriad other fundraisers in the month of June to see who wins the title of 4th of July Queen (or King!).
As the days grow shorter and winter settles over the region we take up, again, the many clubs, hobbies, and memberships in local organizations which often get set aside in the long, busy days of summer. Quilters begin working on next year's 4th of July display, school groups (who appreciate help from those with experience) begin polishing their Drama, Debate & Forensics routines, running laps and practicing lay-ups in the gym or learning the newest cheers. The pep band (including members of the public) dusts off the sheet music and horns and crowds turn out to cheer the local basketball teams and wrestlers. And before we know it the next year's gardener's are breaking out seeds and seedling trays and summer is upon us again.
If you thought that small-town America was a thing of the past, take another look, it's alive and well in Wrangell.
Chief Shakes Tribal House is one of Wrangell's many gems. Recently renovated, the authentic building sits in the middle of one of Wrangell's three harbors, a link to Wrangell's past and beacon to the future.
Helpful Links to 'Wrangell'
Local Government & Agencies
City and Borough of Wrangell
Wrangell Chamber of Commerce
Wrangell Convention & Visitors Bureau
Places of interest
Muskeg Meadows Golf Course
Anan Bear Observatory
Wrangell Parks and Recreation
Stikine River Birding Festival
King Salmon Derby
4th of July
Moving to Wrangell
Alaska Marine Highway (Ferry)
Move to Wrangell (Realtor)
KSTK (Radio Station)
Wrangell Sentinel (Newspaper)