The Story of Sitka The Historic Outpost of the Northwest Coast; The Chief Factory of the Russian American Company

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Source: http://gutenberg.org

Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

The panorama of sea, island, and mountain, which holds Sitka, Alaska, as a jewel in its setting, is one of the most beautiful of those which surround the cities of the world. Toward the sea from the peninsula on which Sitka is situated stretches an expanse of waters, studded with forest-clad islands which break the swell of the Pacific that foams and tumbles on the outer barriers. To the westward Mount Edgecumbe lifts its perfect cone, its summit truncated by the old crater whose fires have been dead for centuries; to the northward Harbor peak lifts its signal to mariners; the Sisters, with a gleam of snow and ice among their pinnacles, lie in the distance of Indian River; to the east is the arrowhead of Mount Verstovia; the glaciers glisten beyond; and the sweep of mist-clad mountains, in their softness, beyond the bay to the southeast completes the circle.Radiating like the spokes of a wheel, waterways with historic memories reach out from the town. Krestof Bay, where the early navigators cast anchor; Neva Strait, commemorating the first Russian ship that visited Sitka from around the world; Katleanski Bay, on which was situated Old Sitka; Silver Bay, a Norwegian fjord transplanted to Alaska; Lisianski Bay, named for the Russian navigator of a century ago; the inlet at Ozerskoe Redoubt and Globokoe (Deep) Lake; the island-studded way to the Hot Springs; each with its individual charm; the ocean, with the deep, rich, marine tints of northern waters; the forest of blue, that folds like a robe over the mountains; the mountain summits beside the glaciers, clad in the exquisitely wonderful green of the Northland, all are delightful. But when the sun sinks low in the west, with the long, lingering twilight of the North, and the soft, delicate rays touch and blend with the water and islands, the mountains and sky–then, in the mystery of the evening, is the supreme beauty of the land. To those who have really known and loved Sitka, there is no place on earth to compare.