Douglas, Katmai National Park and Preserve


Douglas, Katmai National Park and Preserve

by | Dec 21, 2018

The abandoned village of Douglas, also called Kaguyak, is on the northeast coast of the Alaska Peninsula in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The historical elements of the site include the remains of a Russian Orthodox church and cemetery, as well as a number of frame house remnants and foundations. The site is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north of Cape Chiniak, and 44 miles (71 km) northeast of Mount Katmai, on Shelikof Strait.

This settlement was mapped as “Kayayak Village” in 1852 by Mikhail Tebenkof, a Russian hydrographer and vice-admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy, although there may have been an error of transliteration and placement on Tebenkov’s map since there was another village with the same name on the southeastern shore of Kodiak Island. Regardless, the name was retained and first published as “Kaguyak” in 1884 on charts by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, but in 1890, the U.S. Census Bureau called it “Douglas”, after Cape Douglas.

The villages of Katmai, in Katmai Bay, and Douglas had been established as trading posts by the Russian-American Company during the 19th century. About ten years before Novarupta volcano exploded, the two trading posts had closed, and only a year before, the entire sea otter hunt had been halted under the International Fur Seal Treaty. The economy that had sustained the villages for more than a century had suddenly collapsed. The eruption of Novarupta on June 6, 1912, was a well-documented disaster that destroyed the villages of Katmai and Douglas, as well as a number of fish camps on the Alaska Peninsula and a commercial salmon saltery at Kaflia Bay. Today the village site is a private inholding in Katmai National Park and occupied by a wilderness camp for bear viewing. Read more here and here. Explore more of Douglas here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The colour scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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