Given the size of Wrangell, the Wrangell Museum (296 Outer Dr., 907/874-3770, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May–Sept. and when cruise ships are in port, Tues.–Sat. 1–5 p.m. the rest of the year, $5 adults, $3 seniors and children ages 6–12, younger children free, $12 families) is a delightful surprise. Housed in the spacious and modern Nolan Center, professional exhibits take you through Wrangell’s rich past with an in-depth look at the Tlingit, Russian, British, and American peoples who all called this place home.
Petroglyphs, Native Alaskan baskets, old photographs, and local relics are crowded into this provocative museum. Of particular interest are the original house posts from the Chief Shakes house. Carved in the 1740s—before contact with Europeans—they are the oldest Tlingit house posts in existence. The gift shop has a fine selection of books.
Also within the Nolan Center is the Wrangell Visitors Center (907/874-3901 or 800/367-9745, www.wrangellalaska.org, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and when cruise ships are in port). You can pick up brochures here if the museum is open, and a computer and Wi-Fi are available for a fee.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition