The Kake tribe of the Tlingits were the most feared by white settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries. They frightened Captain Vancouver during his voyages and sometimes "terrorized" trappers. In 1869, the Kakes killed two Sitka traders in revenge for the shooting of a Native by a Sitka sentry. This act began the so-called "Kake War." During successive reprisals by the Navy vessel U.S.S. Saginaw, three Kake villages were destroyed. The Kakes did not rebuild for many years, but finally settled around 1890 at their present site. In 1891, a government school and store were built. A Society of Friends mission also was established. A post office was established in 1904. In 1912 the first cannery was built near Kake, and was purchased by the village in the late 1940s. In the late 1940s timber harvesting and processing began at a local sawmill.
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History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development