Windham, Windham Bay

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Windham, Windham Bay

by | Aug 21, 2020

Windham is a historical community at the head of Windham Bay, about 63 miles (102 km) southeast of Juneau and 57 miles (92 km) north-northwest of Petersburg, Alaska. This was the site of a gold-mining camp built about 1900 supporting mining operations along Spruce Creek. The Windham post office was located here from 1903 to 1956.

Windham Bay was named after Point Windham located at the bay entrance on the eastern shore of Stephens Passage. The point was discovered by Lieutenant Joseph Whidbey in 1794, and named by Captain George Vancouver probably for William Windham who served as the Secretary of War for England from 1792-1801, and for the colonies from 1806-07.

The earliest gold production in Alaska occurred in Windham Bay and Sumdum Bay in 1870-71. The Windham Bay Gold Mining Company was located 0.75 miles (1.21 km) upstream and on the south slopes of Spruce Creek. It consisted of nine claims known as the “Red Wing” group and the settlement known as Windham near the mouth of the creek. Another historical mining camp operated at the mouth of the Chuck River on the southeast side of this inner bay until the 1920s. From the river mouth, a broad flat extends southward for 2 miles (3.2 km), and continues inland within the valley of the Chuck River. This part of the bay is a protected wilderness area. The Chuck River Wilderness was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress and covers an area of 74,506 acres (30,152 ha). Read more here and here. Explore more of Windham here:

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