Christmas Island, Security Bay

Christmas Island, Security Bay

by | Dec 24, 2018

Christmas Island is the largest of several small islands on the west side of Security Bay on Kuiu Island, in Southeast Alaska. Christmas Island was named in 1881 by Commander Henry Glass of the U.S. Navy. Security Bay is now an Alaska State Marine Park for prime salmon, halibut, crab, and marine mammal habitat.

Across Security Bay from Christmas Island is Retaliation Point. A few hundred yards to the northeast of Retaliation Point is a gravel beach and a small stream. This was the site of Tom’s Ranch, a small Tlingit village that was destroyed, along with two fishing camps at the head of Security Bay, by Commander Richard Worsam Meade and the USS Saginaw in 1869.

In April 1868, a year after the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, the Saginaw spent a year exploring and charting the Alaskan coast. During that time, a conflict arose when two white trappers were killed by the Kake in retribution for the death of two Kake at Fort Sitka. In February 1869, the Saginaw was sent to destroy three villages at Fossil Bluffs, Hamilton, and Security Bay. Although the villages were deserted, the resulting loss of winter stores, canoes, and shelter led to significant hardship for the Tlingit during the remaining winter. Read more here and here. Explore more of Christmas Island and Security Bay here:

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