Non-Unified Home Rule Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
Geography and Climate
- Petersburg is located on the northwest end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meet Frederick Sound. It lies midway between Juneau and Ketchikan, about 120 miles from either community.
- Petersburg's climate is characterized by mild winters, cool summers, and year-round rainfall. Average summer temperatures range from 40 to 56 °F; winters average from 27 to 43 °F. Annual precipitation averages 106 inches, with 97 inches of snow.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Tlingit Indians from Kake utilized the north end of Mitkof Island as a summer fish camp. Some reportedly began living year-round at the site, including Chief John Lot. The former City of Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant and a pioneer in the cannery business, who arrived in the late 1890s. He built the Icy Strait Packing Company cannery, a sawmill and a dock by 1900. His family?s homesteads grew into this community, populated largely by people of Scandinavian origin. In 1910, the City of Petersburg was formed, and by 1920, 600 people lived in Petersburg year-round. During this time, fresh salmon and halibut were packed in glacier ice for shipment. Alaska?s first shrimp processor, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, was founded in Petersburg in 1916. A cold storage plant was built in 1926. The cannery has operated continuously and is now known as Petersburg Fisheries, subsidiary of Icicle Seafood, Inc. Petersburg developed into and remains one of Alaska?s major fishing communities. Across the narrows is the town of Kupreanof, which was once busy with fur farms, a boat repair yard, and a sawmill. In January of 2013, the City of Petersburg was dissolved and the Petersburg Borough incorporated.
- The community of Petersburg Borough maintains a mixture of Tlingit and Scandinavian history. It is known as 'Little Norway' for its history and annual Little Norway Festival during May. The City of Kupreanof (the only incorporated city within the borough) is located across a small body of water called the Narrows on the shore of Kupreanof Island. Kupreanof has a population of approximately 30 residents who must travel ? mile across water between the Kupreanof and Mitkof shores to access the commercial and more populated area of Petersburg Borough. Residents and visitors enjoy year round beauty in this very self-sufficient, prosperous fishing community.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Petersburg Indian Association
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Refuse Collection, Electric, Harbor/Port, Medical Center, Police, Volunteer Fire/EMS, Library, Community Recreation Center, Roads, Schools, Elderly Housing, Assisted Living, Aquatic Center
- Petersburg is accessed by air and water. It is on the mainline state ferry route and has ferry terminals on the north and south ends of Mitkof Island. The state-owned James A. Johnson Airport has a runway for scheduled jet service and small plane charter services. Lloyd R. Roundtree Seaplane Base (on the Wrangell Narrows) allows for float plane services. Harbor facilities include a petroleum wharf, barge terminals, three boat harbors with moorage for 700 boats, a boat launch, and a boat haul-out. Freight arrives by barge, ferry, or cargo plane. There is no deep-water dock for large ships (such as cruise ships); passengers are lightered to shore. Remote areas of the Borough are served by small state-owned boat docks at Papke's Landing in the Wrangell Narrows, on Kupreanof Island at the City of Kupreanof, and in Hobart Bay. Boat launch ramps are located on the south end of Mitkof Island at Banana Point, Blaquerie Point, and Woodpecker Cove. The state owned Mitkof Highway carries traffic north and south and is paved or chip sealed for 28 miles between the South Mitkof Ferry Terminal and the airport.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge