Seldovia, Kachemak Bay

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Seldovia is a small community on the southern shore of Kachemak Bay in Cook Inlet, Alaska about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Homer. The town is connected to the road system by Alaska Marine Highway ferries, otherwise the only access is by air or water taxi.

The town is named for the adjacent bay, named "Seldevoy," meaning "herring bay," by Captain Archimandritov who made surveys of Cook Inlet in 1848 to 1853 for the Russian-American Company. The recorded history of the community dates from 1787 or 1788 when a Russian trading post named Aleksandrovskaia was established by sea otter hunters of the Shelikhov-Golikov company, a precursor of the Russian-American Company.

Fox farms and a herring fishery boomed in the early 20th century. Two on-shore herring salteries were built in Seldovia and old sailing ships were used as additional floating salteries. The need for labor brought many immigrant workers and the town population grew to over 2,000 residents. The herring fishery quickly declined and by the 1930s was closed. Fox farming continued until the Great Depression.

Seldovia was the only ice-free deep water port in Southcentral Alaska. The Cook Inlet Transportation Company met ocean-going steamers at Seldovia and carried men, livestock and freight north to other Cook Inlet settlements. The role of Seldovia as a transfer port started declining when the railroad from Seward to Fairbanks was completed in 1923, and with the development of a road system and deep water port in Anchorage. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Seldovia and Kachemak Bay.

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