Explore a large, scale model of Sitka from 1867, the year the Russians transferred the Territory to the United States. View exhibits on traditional Tlingit lifestyles and see a collection of tightly woven cedar and spruce root baskets. Or learn about the town blackouts and a large-scale military buildup in Sitka during World War II. The museum is the only place in Sitka that includes all three elements of the town’s history--Tlingit, Russian and American. That’s a daunting task when you’re the Northwest’s oldest city. The museum is a great place for history buffs, inquisitive travelers and families (Kids love the model).
The museum features seasonal exhibits, as well as permanent installations that cover the wide arc of Sitka history. One of the highlights is a Chilkat Blanket, a Tlingit robe woven from mountain goat fur and died black and yellow using plants. It's still used by the "Killer Whale Clan" during ceremonies. There’s also a display about the Sheldon Jackson Campus that includes the history of the school, from missionary school to trade school to college, as well as a new exhibit on St. Michael's Cathedral.
For kids, the highlight is the large diorama model of Sitka in 1867. It’s an exact replica of the town the day Alaska was transferred to the United States. From boat making facilities to gristmills, it’s all captured in the model. There’s a knowledgeable, helpful staff who will do tours, if requested, and they are especially helpful with the model.
There’s also an excellent museum store and gift shop, which includes carefully selected books and DVDs on Sitka's history and culture, as well as great gifts related to the town’s Tlingit and Russian heritage.