Photo Credit: Loren Holmes

Take a walk through Seward’s rich history with Seward historian Doug Capra. From the little-known Russian colony, to Seward’s boom as the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad, this audio guide will inform and entertain you with stories of Seward’s colorful characters.

Show Map

Points of Interest

When these hous­es were built, most before 1910, they rep­re­sent­ed some of the most expen­sive homes in South­cen­tral Alas­ka. Owned by rail­road exec­u­tives and bankers, they sym­bol­ized to the aver­age Seward res­i­dent the pros­per­ous times ahead.

The muse­um presents the chief events of Seward’s his­to­ry through pho­tographs, arti­facts and doc­u­ments. There is also a fine col­lec­tion of Native bas­kets and ivory carv­ings on dis­play. Dur­ing the sum­mer there are evening pro­grams con­sist­ing of two slide shows: The His­to­ry of Seward and The His­to­ry of the Idi­tar­od Trail. A spe­cial open house is held every August 28 in hon­or of the found­ing of Seward in 1903. Muse­um shop car­ries books by local  ...more

Meet your guide in a quaint and his­toric place to either begin or end your Seward tour – an old Methodist and lat­er a Luther­an church even­tu­al­ly con­vert­ed into a cof­fee house. If you vis­it Seward on cold and snowy win­ter morn­ings, you’ll often find your guide here read­ing and writing.

This is not only the old­est hotel build­ing in Seward, but one of the old­est in the state. Many famous peo­ple stayed here, and some say the ghost of a mur­dered women haunts this hotel. Next door is the Lib­er­ty The­ater, built 1943 – 44. On the inside, both the hotel and the the­ater rep­re­sent a glimpse into what life was like in Alaska’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al days.

The sto­ry of Har­ry Kawabe, a well-respect­ed Japan­ese-Amer­i­can busi­ness­man, deserves a spe­cial place in Seward. His laun­dry, one of his many busi­ness enter­pris­es, stood on this spot, and this park remem­bers his con­tri­bu­tions to the Seward com­mu­ni­ty and his time in a Japan­ese intern­ment camp.

St. Peter’s Epis­co­pal Church is the old­est sur­viv­ing Protes­tant church build­ing on the Kenai Penin­su­la. It was also the loca­tion of the first pub­lic school class­room in the town of Seward, and it housed a library read­ing room begin­ning in 1929. Soon after the town of Seward was estab­lished in the sum­mer of 1903, a priest head­quar­tered in Valdez began mak­ing peri­od­ic trips to Seward to hold ser­vices in a tent. The base­ment, or undercroft,…  ...more

Like most sea­port towns, Seward had ladies of the night from the town’s begin­ning. But in 1915, with the deci­sion to start build­ing the Alas­ka Rail­road here, the town became con­cerned about the upcom­ing influx of con­struc­tion work­ers. Seward decid­ed to con­fine these ladies to a spe­cif­ic area, a place that became the town’s Red Light Dis­trict. Dur­ing pro­hi­bi­tion it was also known for its moon­shin­ing, thus the nick­name, Home­brew Alley.

Many peo­ple don’t think of Seward and Res­ur­rec­tion Bay as an ear­ly Russ­ian set­tle­ment. But here is where the Rus­sians built a ship yard in the ear­ly 1790’s, prob­a­bly near this spot. This is also where the Low­ell fam­i­ly first set­tled years before the town was established.

Built in 1909-10, this two-sto­ry build­ing lat­er became asso­ci­at­ed with one of Seward’s most beloved cit­i­zens – Sol Urie. An avid Seward pro­mot­er, Sol­ly ran his bar and liquor store here.

Seward has one of the few rel­a­tive­ly intact Main Streets in Alas­ka, and gives you a good idea of what the territory’s ear­ly coastal towns looked like. Despite two destruc­tive fires, some of the town’s ear­li­est build­ings are still stand­ing. In its ear­ly days, it was a rough and row­dy area, a place where one of Seward’s most famous mas­cots held sway – for a time.

Vis­it the site of one of the most famous shoot­ings in ear­ly Alas­ka his­to­ry – the spot where a U.S. Deputy Mar­shal was gunned down. We’ll also meet one of Alaska’s most respect­ed lawyers and politicians.

When vis­i­tors think of the Idi­tar­od Trail, they often think of Anchor­age where the race’s cer­e­mo­ni­al start takes place. But the trail actu­al­ly begins in Seward, right here. This spot is also where the town’s first set­tlers land­ed back in August 1903.

The most cat­a­stroph­ic event in Seward’s his­to­ry took place along the shore­line here. On March 27, 1964, the largest earth­quake ever record­ed in North Amer­i­ca, and the tsunamis that fol­lowed, changed Seward’s his­to­ry forever.