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Petersburg is a census-designated place within Petersburg Borough on Mitkof Island in southeast Alaska, United States. According to 2009 Census Bureau estimates, its population was 2,824 full-time residents.The borough encompasses Petersburg and Kupreanof, plus mostly uninhabited areas stretching to the Canadian border and the southern boundary of the City and Borough of Juneau. While the city of Petersburg ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity, the tiny city of Kupreanof remains separate within the borough.HistoryTlingits from Kupreanof Island had long used a summer fish camp at the north end of Mitkof Island. Earlier cultures of indigenous people also used the island: remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 1,000 years.European explorers to Mitkof Island encountered the Tlingit. In the nineteenth century, Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant, settled here, building a cannery, sawmill, docks and early structures. The settlement was named Petersburg after him, and it flourished as a fishing port. (Icebergs from the nearby LeConte Glacier provided a source for cooling fish). Petersburg originally incorporated as a town on April 2, 1910. The town had attracted mostly immigrants of Scandinavian origin, thus giving Petersburg the nickname "Little Norway". The Sons of Norway hall was built on one of the piers. Three other canneries were built and the four have operated continuously since. With the establishment of the cannery, Alaskan Natives, including Chief John Lott, began to work there and live year-round at the site.Add Petersburg and other destinations to your itinerary using our United States vacation planner, and learn about what to see, what to do, and where to stay.
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