Sitka is in Sitka Borough
on the west side of Baranof Island
, 185 miles northwest of Ketchikan
Sitka was originally inhabited by a major tribe of Tlingits, who called the village "Shee Atika." In 1799, a Russian fort was erected here by Aleksandr Baranov, a fur trader and the first Russian governor of Alaska. Clashes between the Russians and Tlingits resulted in the Battle of Sitka in 1804. A town was established and dubbed New Archangel, then Sitka - the Tlingit name for Baranof Island. Alaska was transferred to the U.S. at a ceremony here in 1867.
Today Sitka, population 8,835, relies on fishing, fish products processing and storage, lumber, pulp, government and tourism.
Of interest are the 1804 battlefield in Sitka National Historical Park; Castle Hill, scene of the official transfer; Mt. Edgecumbe High School, serving Alaska Native students from around the state; and the Russian Orthodox St. Michael's Cathedral. Sitka is also home to historic Sheldon Jackson College.
Sitka is served by the Alaska Marine Highway and Alaska Airlines.