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Klawock, Alaska facts for kids

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Official seal of Klawock
Nickname(s): Site of the First Salmon Cannery in Alaska
Motto: kla-na-kee-duk
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Unorganized
Census area Prince of Wales-Hyder
Founded 1868
Incorporated October 29, 1929
 • Total 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)
 • Land 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)  34.83%
Elevation 79 ft (24 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 854
 • Density 1,465.4/sq mi (568.5/km2)
Time zone AKST (UTC-9)
 • Summer (DST) AKDT (UTC-8)
Zip code 99925
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-40400
GNIS feature ID 1423100

Klawock (Tlingit: Láwaak) is a city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, on Klawock Inlet, across from Klawock Island. The population was 854 at the 2000 census.

It is 90 km (56 mi) from Ketchikan, 11 km (seven mi) from Craig, and 39 km (24 mi) from Hollis.


Klawock's first settlers were Tlingit who came from the northern winter village of Tuxekan. They used it as a fishing camp for the summer period, and called it by several different names: Klawerak, Tlevak, Clevak, and Klawak. The name "Klawock" is derived from the Tlingit name ɬawa:k, a subgroup of the Tlingit nation. In 1853 a Russian navigator referred to the village as "Klyakkhan", and in 1855 as "Thlewakh".

In 1868, European Americans opened a trading post and a salmon saltery; some years later, in 1878, a San Francisco firm opened the first cannery in Alaska. In the following decades, several others were established. A United States post office was established in 1882. The 1890 census recorded the town's population as 260.

The Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), nonprofit organizations working for civil rights of Alaska Natives, were established by residents in 1912. Its founders and many volunteers built the Town Hall and a community center in 1939, during the Great Depression.

In 1929 the town incorporated as a city, and in 1934 Congress awarded federal funding for the expansion of the cannery, on the condition that the community remain liquor-free. At the same time, the Klawock Cooperative Association (a nonprofit organization) was formed to manage the cannery.


Klawock is located at 55°33′18″N 133°5′7″W / 55.555°N 133.08528°W / 55.555; -133.08528 (55.554961, -133.085139).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), of which, 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (34.83%) is water.

Average temperature in January is 3 °C (37 °F), and 14 °C (58 °F) in July; yearly precipitation is 305 cm (120 in).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 241
1920 19 −92.1%
1930 437 2,200.0%
1940 455 4.1%
1950 404 −11.2%
1960 251 −37.9%
1970 213 −15.1%
1980 318 49.3%
1990 722 127.0%
2000 854 18.3%
2010 755 −11.6%
Est. 2015 765 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 854 people, 313 households, and 215 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,465.4 people per square mile (568.5/km²). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 631.4 per square mile (245.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 40.98% White, 50.94% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 7.38% from two or more races. 1.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 313 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 30.1% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 124.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 134.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,000, and the median income for a family was $38,839. Males had a median income of $38,977 versus $23,036 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,621. About 13.6% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Local features and attractions

Klawock has the oldest hatchery in Alaska. This industry enhances the runs of salmon, including sockeye, coho, and steelhead. A sawmill and area logging operations are located here.

Klawock has a harbor, often used by tourists as a departure point for trips or boating exploration of the bays, inlets, and surrounding islands.

Each February 16, the ANB/ANS organizations sponsor the "Elizabeth Peratrovich Celebration" with ceremonies and a potluck, honoring the anniversary of passage of the landmark legislation. The city also sponsors a summer festival, the "Celebration by the Sea."

A Totem Park has 21 totem poles, one of the largest collections in Alaska: it displays original and replica totems from the old village of Tuxekan. The city built a carving shed to house the poles during restoration, which can be visited. In 1998 the city commissioned construction of a Long House (named Gaanì Ax Adi) with a new totem pole.



The 5,000 foot and paved Klawock Airport is the only airport on Prince of Wales Island and serves as the air transport gateway for nearby Craig as well. It receives charters and daily scheduled passenger service from Ketchikan from Island Air Express. Harris Air also offers daily passenger and cargo service to Sitka with connections to Juneau, Petersberg, and Wrangell.


Ferry service is available through the Inter-Island Ferry Authority from either Prince of Wales Island communities of Hollis (M/V Prince of Wales, with service to Ketchikan) or Coffman Cove (M/V Stikine, with service to Wrangell or Petersburg) which are both accessible through Prince of Wales' road system.

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