Caine's Head & Iron Doors

Around Thumb Cove, across the bay, there is a prominent headland rising 650' above the bay. This is known as the Caine's Head . During World War II it was the site of Fort McGilvray. By land Fort McGilvray is 6 miles south of Seward but no road connected the two. All supplies came to the fort by boat. There was a great fear that Seward might be attacked during the war. The fear stemmed from the fact that with the rail terminus being located here, the Japanese could effectively cripple all of Alaska if they were to take over the town of Seward.

About 8 million dollars went into the construction of Fort McGilvray. The fort had 7 miles of roadway, 5 barracks, 1 officer's quarters and a mess hall. If you scan the headland you will see a distinct break in the evergreen tree cover along the ridge. This opening is where the gun emplacements were located. Originally there were two 155mm guns these were a throw back from the Great War. In 1943 these were replaced by 6" guns which were much more accurate to a distance of 16 miles. One of the practice targets of the 155mm guns was the spit off Fox Island. The 6" guns were never fired.

Just before the boat turns to go into Humpy Cove another World War II sight is visible. "The Iron Doors" is the name for a small concrete structure with one rusted iron door still standing. This structure used to house a search light which was mounted on rail tracks. At night the searchlight lit up a piece of Resurrection Bay at its narrowest point. Troops scanned for any incoming enemy ships. Six men lived in a barracks about 100 yards north of the concrete structure. If you search the trees you can still make out a bit of the rusted structure's form.

Getting There

Latitude: 59.986538
Longitude: -149.392462
Driving Directions