The History of Chignik

The City of Chignik is located on Anchorage Bay on south shore of the Alaska Peninsula, 450 miles southwest of Anchorage and 260 miles southwest of Kodiak. It lies at approximately 56 18' N Latitude, 158 24' W Longitude (Sec. 07, T045S, R058W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Aleutian Islands Recording District. The area encompasses 12 sq. miles of land and 4 sq. miles of water.

Prior to Chignik, a Kaniagmuit Native village called Kaluak was located here; it was destroyed during the Russian fur boom in the late 1700s. Chignik, a Sugpiaq word meaning "big wind," was established in the late 1800s as a fishing village and cannery. A four-masted sailing ship called the "Star of Alaska" transported workers and supplies between Chignik and San Francisco. Chinese crews from San Francisco traveled to Chignik in early spring to make tin cans for the cannery. Japanese workers followed in mid-June to begin processing. A post office was established in 1901. Coal mining occurred from 1899 to 1915. Chignik became an incorporated City in 1983. Today, two historical canneries are still in operation.


To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online


History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development