Woody Island (Alaska)

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Woody Iceland is an island of the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska in the United States. It is located 4 kilometers east of Kodiak in the Chiniak Bay. The island is 6.66 km ². In 2000, a person who lived on Woody Iceland. For thousands of years, the island was inhabited by the Unangan, which they called Tangirnaq. 1894 was officially referred to as Wood Iceland. On it the first road was built in Alaska. Aside from the period of Native American, four settlement periods are observed for the island.


Settlement by the Unangan

For thousands of years, the island was inhabited by the Unangan, here called themselves Tangirnarmiut, which translates as " people of, Tangirnaq ' " is. They used the island for fishing, whaling and woodwork and built large houses and villages. When, in the 18th century Russian fur hunters came to Alaska, the Unangan they could indeed fend initially still, but in the end they were brutally subjected. This was followed Epedimien, resettlement and executions of resistance fighters. 1805 lived 54 Unangan in a village on the west side of Woody Iceland. As in 1837, a smallpox epidemic struck the region, the survivors were accommodated by the Russians in different villages, one of which was to Woody Iceland.

Economic use

In 1852, the Russian-American company of kept an ice factory on the island. For this, the Tanignak Lake was dammed and the produced ice shipped to California. For the transport of ice horses were imported, moved railroad tracks and built the first road in Alaska. An extra built sawmill sawdust produced, which was then used to isolate the ice. Many local Unangan were forced by the Russians to work in the winter for the ice cream industry and in the summer they had to hunt fur seals and sea otters, to get at the valuable furs. 1872, a Russian Orthodox church was built on Woody Iceland. To 1886, the island was the economic center of Kodiak. These included the ice cream industry, a grist mill, the harbor and the fur trade. As the stocks of sea otters were less and less, the fur hunting was discontinued beginning of the 20th century.

Religious Terms

Ernest and Ida Roscoe built in 1893 on Woody Iceland a Baptist mission and an orphanage. Gradually, a girl and boy's home, an office building, barns, a carpenter, a canning factory, a warehouse and a dining room to come. The mission was home to the orphans of Unangan and sometimes the elders took the children into care, which separated them from their parents. The main building of the mission in 1925 and burned down completely in 1937 and was relocated to Kodiak.

U.S. Navy radio station

In 1911, the U.S. Navy built a radio station on the island. It consisted of two 69 -meter antennas. The outbreak of Novarupta on the Alaska Peninsula in 1912, almost half a meter of ash piled on to Woody Iceland. During the ash rain lightning hit one of the two antennas and triggered by a fire which almost completely burned down the radio station. Many of the men stationed there thus lost everything they had. The fauna on the island was wiped out by the eruption, only survived the bears. The radio station was rebuilt and expanded in 1914 and decommissioned on 28 February 1931. The orphaned buildings were then used by the Longwood School.

After the mission and the orphanage had moved to Kodiak, the population of the island shrank rapidly. The number of students of Longwood School fell from 71 in 1937 to 20 in 1939 and was then finally closed. A majority of the indigenous population moved to Kodiak, where they could live more independently and find work.

Air monitoring station

In 1941 the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Kodiak Naval Air Station with a runway, workshop, control room, radio station, beacon and an ultra-short wave transmitter. The facility collected weather and other flight data and gave it to the pilot. During the Second World War lived up to 40 technicians and their families to Woody Iceland. They used the telegraph, radio transmitter and receiver of the system to support the military and civil aviation in the northern Pacific.

1951 or 1952, the Russian Orthodox Church was demolished. Former Navy buildings have been converted into apartments and a school was built in 1951 for the small community. The FAA facility was automated in the 1970s and 1979, destroyed by a fire mostly.

Current usage

In the 1950s, the American Baptist Churches began a non -denominational summer camp on the island offer, which still exist today. The FAA still maintains a radio beacon for the aviation orientation. On Woody Iceland lived in 2000 only a hermit, in the summer a few families come to the island. The majority of the island is privately owned, the rest belongs to the Alaska State Parks.