Spook Island, Cordova Bay

Spook Island, Cordova Bay

by | Oct 31, 2018

Spook Island is in Cordova Bay, on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. The island is connected at low tide to Cemetary Island to the southwest and Mushroom Island to the north. Spook Island is the local name published in 1965 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Spook Island is separated from Sukkwan Island to the south by the Sukkwan Narrows and from Hydaburg on Prince of Wales Island by Sukkwan Strait. The Haida name for Spook Island is “K’adaan Gwáay“. The Kaigani Haida are originally from the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, but they have lived north of Dixon Entrance since the early 1700s. The community of Hydaburg was formed in 1911 by the consolidation of several Haida villages on Cordova Bay. These villages included Howkan on the west coast of Long Island, Sukkwan at the northern end of Sukkwan Island across Sukkwan Strait from Hydaburg, and Klinkwan on Prince of Wales Island at the mouth of Hunter Bay. The village of Sukkwan was abandoned for better water supply. An ancient burial site and totems associated with Sukkwan were on Cemetery Island.

In 1939, a totem park was created in Hydaburg that contains a collection of preserved and recreated totem poles based on originals from the small communities abandoned in 1911. The original totem poles were brought to Hydaburg by the Civilian Conservation Corps and were recreated and preserved under the guidance of Haida master carvers. Read more here and here. Explore more of Spook Island here:

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