Sunday, May 20, 2012

Plugged In Again

We are back in Wrangell.  Engine trouble.  First time in the 17 years we have owned our boat.  Two men crowded in our engine room trouble shooting and using the language that men use under such circumstances. Too much testosterone. Long walk for me.  Wrangell is one of the oldest towns in Alaska.  Settled first by Tlingits who travelled down the Stikine River.  If you have time to include Wrangell in your travel plans, take a jet boat tour up the river.  You will not regret it.  Here is a website to help you plan your trip.  Russians arrived early in the 19th century to trade in furs.  They were followed by the British who established a Hudson Bay Trading company outpost.  Gold discoveries in the Canadian Cassiar and Klondike districts favored Wrangell merchants and the economy boomed.  Salmon canneries invested in fish traps at the mouths of local rivers, enriching their Washington State owners and depleting the salmon runs.  With statehood in 1959 came state control and the traps were banned.  Logging boomed in the second half of the 20th century.  Wrangell in 2012 is fine.  Population about 2,000.  26 graduated from Wrangell High School yesterday.  This is one of my favorite places.  Lots of energy and initiative.  Friendly.  After two trips to town I am greeted by the locals.

  I visited the Wrangell cemetary.  The head stones told the story - Tlingits, Russians, imigrants from across the United States.  There is one mystery to me - about a dozen graves marked with United States military stones for "Unknown Soldier" and "Unknown Sailor".  How did these remains come to rest here?  When I find out I will let you know.

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