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Seldovia, a pleasant fishing village at the mouth of Kachemak Bay, on Cook Inlet, has an unusual history as the crossroads of several Alaskan cultures. Aleuts, Eskimos, and Indians were all reported among the early population. Russians, too, knew of the area, and some settled here. A trading post was also established early by the Americans, but even so the village remained a Native town until the twentieth century. Fishing now dominates the economy; five canneries were located here in the 1950s.

The 1964 earthquake caused the town to drop almost 4 feet. The subsequent urban renewal project encompassed the area below a 32-foot elevation and called for a major reconstruction of the waterfront. Although planners Lutes and Anderson encouraged residents to retain some of Seldovia's more charming characteristics, such as steep slopes, piling foundations, and boardwalks, many of them were lost in favor of economic revitalization. A hill was leveled to provide a site for residential development in the heart of the city, and the boardwalk that had constituted the main street was replaced with asphalt. Yet some boardwalks remain to contribute to Seldovia's charm, which is also enhanced by the lovely setting.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland

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