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by two cruisers
March 17, 2012
From journal Alaska: US's 49th and 49th for us.
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
July 14, 2006
The Sheldon Jackson Museum is a small building on the campus of Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska. The campus sits slightly outside the main shopping district of Sitka but is well worth the extra walking to get there. You can also get a day pass on the city bus which drops at this location as well. Sheldon Jackson was a missionary who is credited with introducing Christianity to the natives of Alaska. He is also credited by some of obtaining priceless artifacts representing the different tribal groups of Alaska underhandedly. These artifacts are what the museum that bears his name show. It is a wonderful collection of all sorts of ancient pieces. The price of $4/person is well worth it to see these priceless pieces.
To study the different pieces and all the information would take 3-4 hours. Unfortunately, we had about 45 minutes to spend here. The museum is circular in shape and naturally leads you around the perimeter eventually leading to the center where two authentic totem poles are set up. The outer perimeter contains all types of artifacts including several weapons, clothing items and household items used by the different groups in tall glass cases. One of the prize pieces of the museum is the helmet worn by Tlingit warrior Katlian during the battle fought with Russia over the lost lands surrounding Sitka. The room winds around to displays that are at waist level. These displays sit atop drawers which all contain different artifacts if opened. With few exceptions, you can photograph all of the pieces. Of course, they are behind glass so be sure to turn off the flash. It is a wonderful collection of native work. The gift shop is small but contains some unique pieces all claiming to be authentic native work. You can visit the gift shop without touring the museum, but you will be missing out on one of the best museums I have ever seen.
From journal Alaska the Beautiful
Asheville, North Carolina
November 4, 2003
The collection of Alaskan Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut artifacts is one of the most important in the world. From the top of the cases and walls are different types of boats and sleds used by natives. The Aleut and Eskimo exhibits contain items you are not likely to find in any other museum. Most of the Aleut and Eskimo items are to the left as you enter the building. These exhibits include: waterproof clothing made out of walrus intestine and the finger mask that women used for dancing. In the center are the oldest totem poles left in Alaska. To the right are extensive Tlingit and Haida exhibits. Items you will see in this section include: the winning entry of that Alaska state flag contest and why it won, Chilkat blankets, and the Raven's head helmet that was worn by Sitka Cheif Katlean during the battle with the Russians. Oral histories and craft demonstrations often take place in the front of the museum. The oral histories are utterly fascinating. They usually feature locals Sitkan's who went to school at Sheldon Jackson and grew up in the area.
Summer hours, from mid-May through mid-September: 9am to 5pm daily. Closed holidays.
Winter hours are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Closed holidays.
Admission is $4 summer, $3 winter. Free for those 18 and under and members of either Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum or Friends of the Alaska State Museum.
From journal Sitka: Alaska's Most Beautiful Seaside Town