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Saxman Native Village, Ketchikan

#4 of 12 in Parks in Ketchikan
Park · Historic Site
Totem Bight State Historical Park is a 33acre state park in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located north of Ketchikan.
The park is located on the former site of a traditional Native campground known as Mud Village and Mud Bight Village. It contains a collection of totem poles and a replica of a traditional chieftain's house. This wood-frame structure has a low oval entrance, leading into a square chamber with a central fire pit, decorated with carved "house posts". A stylized raven adorns the main facade. The carvings on the house were executed by Charles Brown, a Native from Saxman.
The United States Forest Service used Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) funds to hire skilled carvers from among the older Native Alaskans to repair or duplicate totem poles that were abandoned when the natives moved to communities where work was available. The CCC project built the community house and placed 15 totem poles, most of them replicas of 19th-century poles. At statehood in 1959, title to the land passed from the federal government to the State of Alaska.
The historic site, comprising of the park, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 27, 1970.
A visit to Saxman Native Village represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Ketchikan route builder to plot your vacation.
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Saxman Native Village reviews

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681 reviews
  • There are two hour shows running when a ship is on port. Watch a short movie, see native dancing and then see a real life totem pole craft shop.  more »
  • Saxman is just at the outer edge of Ketchikan and an easy drive. you can see the totems from your car. If their gift shop is open, do stop in as they offer a good assortment of items with Tlingit.....  more »
  • The village is very small. The gift shop is closed due to Covid. But it's worth a visit. There is a small cemetery down the road. The house is actually closed. Each totem pole is different. Some...  more »
  • Absolutely awesome! The farewell dance from the tribe quit literally made me weep. Such a beautiful culture! I will remember this forever! Thank you to our gracious hosts.
  • Loved it. So clearly explained Had only read about such but had never seen or understood the detail. Thanks for such an educational experience.
  • Excellent place to visit. The staff were so informed and were genuinely happy to tell us stories and fill us full of good information. Highly recommend!!!!
  • Wonderful variety of vintage and contemporary totems in a tranquil environment. We came with a guide who explained each of the totems and their meetings. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an added bonus.
  • Awesome spot to learn about Southeast Alaskan Native Tribes and to see an actual demonstration of "how they make a totem pole". Highly-highly recommend!

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