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Model Cottage

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late 1880s. 105 Metlakatla St.
  • Model Cottage (Jet Lowe)

In order to accommodate graduates of the Sitka Industrial and Training School, the Presbyterians set up a revolving-loan fund, enabling these Natives to build American-style houses for themselves. In theory, the young men, trained as builders, married the young women, schooled in the household arts. With these loans, they could build their own houses, eight of which were constructed on Metlakatla and Kelly streets in the 1880s and early 1890s.

The one-and-a-half-story houses were three bays wide, with a central door. Square in plan, 24 feet on a side, the houses had side-gable roofs that extended to cover a lower rear portion. The wood-framed buildings were covered with beveled siding, and there was scalloped ornament at the cornice. On the interior, the living room stretched across the front, with the kitchen, pantry, and wood closet behind; the stairway was in the center of the rear. The second floor had two bedrooms.

Only one of these houses survives, but it has been little altered. The one-bay porch at the front door has been enclosed, and the building has been extended in the rear about 4 feet. A large addition on one side is under construction, but the original scale and charm are still apparent in this model cottage, built to display Native abilities, while instilling an American way of life.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland


What's Nearby


Alison K. Hoagland, "Model Cottage", [Sitka, 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, 192-192.

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