The village of Angoon is located on an isthmus at the mouth of Kootznahoo Inlet on the west side of Admiralty Island. It is 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Juneau. The name is from the Tlingit, Aangóon, meaning “isthmus town”.
Admiralty Island has long been the home of the Kootznoowoo Tlingit people. Kootznoowoo means “fortress of brown bears”, and the island is inhabited by about 1500 brown bears, the largest number recorded anywhere. Kootznahoo Inlet is located on the eastern shore of Chatham Strait. The inlet is an intricate group of narrow passages, lagoons, and bays, with an entrance 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Killisnoo.
In 1878, the North West Trading Company established a trading post and whaling station on nearby Killisnoo Island and employed Angoon villagers to hunt whales. Whaling, a school, and a Russian Orthodox church attracted many Tlingits from neighboring villages. In October 1882, Tlingits from Angoon took white hostages and property and demanded two hundred blankets from the North West Trading Company in compensation for the death of a Tlingit shaman who was killed in a whaling bomb accident. The hostages were released upon the arrival of U.S. Naval forces, however, Angoon was bombarded and destroyed in retaliation. Many Tlingits then moved to Killisnoo where the North West Trading Company was processing herring. In 1928, Killisnoo was destroyed by fire and many Tlingits returned to Angoon. Today Angoon is the largest permanent settlement on Admiralty Island. Read more here and here. Explore more of Angoon and Kootznahoo Inlet here: