Population: 6199 (2004 Dept. of Labor est.)
located near the eastern tip of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska.
Alexander Baranov, a Russian fur trapper, established a settlement at
Chiniak Bay, the site of present-day Kodiak in 1792. At that time, there
were over 6,500 Sugpiaqs (Koniags) in the area and the Island was called "Kikhtak."
It later was known as "Kadiak," the Inuit word for island. Kodiak became
the first capital of Russian Alaska until Alaska became a U.S. Territory
The "Town of Kodiak" was incorporated in 1940. During the
Aleutian Campaign of World War II, the Navy and the Army built bases on
the Island. Fort Abercrombie was constructed in 1939, and later became the
first secret radar installation in Alaska. Development continued, and the
1960s brought growth in commercial fisheries and fish processing. The 1964
earthquake and subsequent tidal wave virtually leveled downtown Kodiak.
The fishing fleet, processing plant, canneries, and 158 homes were
destroyed - $30 million in damage. The infrastructure was rebuilt, and by
1968, Kodiak had become the largest fishing port in the U.S., in terms of
Today, the Port of Kodiak is "homeport" to 770 commercial
fishing vessels. Not only is Kodiak the state's largest fishing port, it
is also home to some of Alaska's largest trawl, longline, and crab
vessels. Kodiak is also a thriving business community. It is a
transportation hub for southwest Alaska, and home of the largest U.S.
Coast Guard base in the country. Kodiak is also home to the first
non-federal satellite launch complex in the United States.