Petersburg is in the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area on the northwest end of Mitkof Island along the Inside Passage, halfway between Ketchikan and Juneau.
Norwegian pioneer Peter Bushmann arrived in 1890 and reasoned that the pristine ice from nearby LeConte glacier could be used to pack fish. He built a cannery; Norwegian fishermen followed, and their families followed them. They fished for halibut, salmon, herring and crab, as their descendants and others do today.
Today Petersburg, population 3,224, continues to depend on commercial fishing as its economic base. In fact, Petersburg has developed into one of Alaska's major fishing communities. Attractions include calving tidewater glaciers, and the largest concentration of humpback whales in Alaska.
Cultural influences are seen in the Little Norway Festival, a celebration of Norwegian Independence in mid-May; and the Sons of Norway Hall, built on pilings, whose shutters are bright with Norwegian tole painting.