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Totem Heritage Center, Ketchikan

4.4
#1 of 7 in Museums in Ketchikan
History Museum Historic Site
The Totem Heritage Center is a museum operated by the City of Ketchikan in the U.S. state of Alaska.The Heritage Center houses one of the world's largest collections of unrestored 19th century totem poles. The poles were recovered from uninhabited Tlingit settlements on Village Island and Tongass Island, south of Ketchikan, as well as from the Haida village of Old Kasaan. The Center was founded in 1976 to preserve these totems and act as a cultural center. Sixteen of the museum's thirty-three totem poles are on permanent display, although the rest of the collection is available for research purposes.The Center also exhibits other Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian artifacts and art pieces, including work by world-famous Tlingit carver Nathan Jackson, and renowned Haida weaver Delores Churchill. In addition to functioning as a museum, the Totem Heritage Center preserves and promotes the traditional arts and crafts of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples through a nationally-recognized program of art classes and other activities. Classes are held throughout the year, and the museum is open to visitors year-round, with extended hours during the summer.The location of the Totem Heritage Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (as "Alaska Totems") in 1971.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
344 reviews
Google
4.7
  • We walked to this location from town after our excursion. Seeing the older totems was pretty cool, but the center is so tiny. We were hoping to see a lot more.  more »
  • Saw several salvaged totem poles. Learned about the various types. The hosts were able to answer any question you could come up with.  more »
  • Well maintained, run and factual Museum. Although small, Really good information re artefacts of local indigenous totem pole history. Worth a visit and the $5 per adult entrance fee.  more »
Google
  • We walked up from cruise port here seeing attractions along the way, and are happy to know that there are free shuttles transport from this location to port. Nice!
  • Excellent. Good place to learn about history (as well as some fairy tales).
  • Excellent stories to share and excellent staff. Great repository of First Nations history. Gem.
  • They were closed when i got there, but the scenery and outside accessible information was worth it
  • Wonderful place, meet the past. And peek into the future!!

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Where to stay in Ketchikan

For a small city, Ketchikan boasts a surprisingly diverse array of accommodations. A downtown hotel is the best option for those who want to stay within walking distance of the city’s restaurants, bars, stores, and attractions, plus it offers proximity to the water. If you have access to a car, you can save a few dollars and enjoy some of Alaska's famous scenery by staying farther out of town. The area's selection of bed and breakfasts includes a number of quirky establishments full of character. The surrounding Tongass National Forest has a well-equipped campground and RV park.
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