Tongass Historical Museum Exhibits

Exhibits inspire, educate and connect.

Explore Ketchikan’s history and heritage through exhibits, past and present.

Tongass Historical Museum Exhibits

Exhibits inspire, educate and connect.

Explore Ketchikan’s history and heritage through exhibits, past and present.

TONGASS HISTORICAL MUSEUM CORE EXHIBIT

Ketchikan Is…

Resilient. Independent. Resourceful. These words surfaced repeatedly from community members as this exhibit came to life. Add in unrelenting rain and back-breaking rock and watch the dynamics of this unique town emerge. We invite you to take a journey through Ketchikan’s past to better understand the present and be inspired for our future.

Industries leave their imprint on Ketchikan. Here, a sign from the Ketchikan Pulp Mill (1954-1997) reminds us of the once thriving logging industry.
North Pacific Cretaceous Marine Life by Ray Troll

UPCOMING FEATURE EXHIBIT

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline

MARCH 3, 2023 - JANUARY 20, 2024

Travel to the prehistoric past with Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline at the Tongass Historical Museum. Be prepared to look at the world in a whole new way in this "epoch" exhibit on Alaska fossils. Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline is an imaginative blending of science and art – with artwork and fossils ranging from polar dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles, palm filled forests, to tiny trilobites and much more.

Artist Ray Troll and paleontologist Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, logged more than 10,000 miles and 250 days traveling the North American coast in search of fossils and the stories they tell. They visited museums, dove into research collections, hung out with fellow scientists and artists, and visited active dig sites via automobiles, small airplanes, and boats.

This exhibit focuses on their fossil adventures with highlights from Southeast Alaska and the remarkable stories that fossils reveal. Learn about the history of life on Earth punctuated by killer asteroids and mass extinctions. Discover the ancient geology of prehistoric Alaska and its giant marine reptiles, the ichthyosaurs, found on nearby islands. Come face to face with a giant Ice Age bear and its cousins in the sea, the seals and sea lions. On display for the first time are Ray's original field books and sketches from when he was cruisin' the fossil coastline.

DIVE DEEP & EXPLORE

With thousands of photographs, objects and archives, there's much to discover. We're adding to these digital records on a regular basis. Don't see what you're looking for?

Give us a call at 907-225-5600.

DIVE DEEP INTO OUR HISTORY

FROM THE VAULT

EXPLORE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAST

Past Exhibits

Past exhibits feature the many authentic stories from Ketchikan’s unique past, curated through photos and artifacts from the museum collection in addition to loans from the community.