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Tlingit Plank House

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As part of an effort to turn Fort Seward into a tourist attraction, a Tlingit plank house was constructed in the parade ground in 1957–1964. Based on a combination of original plans and the drawings of George T. Emmons, this 40-foot-square house is constructed of hammer-finished horizontal planks, notched into corner posts. There are a few accommodations to modern times: two doors have been added on the sides, the corner posts are set in concrete, and the planks are drift pinned. As the house is used for salmon bakes, tables and chairs occupy the space usually devoted to the fire pit and benches. The exterior has carvings on the corner posts as well as the front, with a totem pole incorporated into the rear facade.

The trapper's cabin to one side was built at the same time; it was intended to illustrate the architecture of the first whites in the area. The one-story cabin is constructed of logs sawn flat on three sides. On the other side of the plank house is a new building, used as a kitchen for the salmon bakes, that has the same dimensions as the plank house but is of simple modern construction.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Tlingit Plank House", [Haines, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 167-167.

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