Anchorage Memories VIP Club Podcast
Anchorage Memories Podcast
History of Seldovia, Alaska

History of Seldovia, Alaska

A town built to exist with the tides of Cook Inlet, a town nearly destroyed by the 1964 earthquake. Discover Seldovia in this edition.

In 1908, Seldovia’s “main street” was built along the beach and was only accessible at low tide.

You’ll find this Alaska town of about 255 people, located on the shores of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, about 246 miles from Anchorage.

However, you can only get there by boat or airplane. There are no roads connecting Seldovia with the rest of Alaska.

Athabascans, Aleuts, and Eskimos were the first to discover the area. They set up camps, fished and hunted in and around Kachemak Bay.

How Seldovia Got its Name

In the late 1700s, Russian explorers arrived and noticed a heavy population of herring in the waters of the bay. They named it “Zaliv Seldevoy”, which means, “Herring Bay”.

The Russians built a trading post and church in the area.

The Gold Rush

While Seldovia had a trading post, the Alaska Gold Rush made them a transportation hub.

Cook Inlet around Kachemak Bay was open during the winter.

Because of that, prospectors from all over the world journeyed to Seldovia to board steamers headed to the gold fields in the upper Cook Inlet.

The Seldovia Salmon Company

Beginning in 1910, the Seldovia Salmon Company began operation. Its success brought canneries who packed herring, shrimp, halibut crab and more.

Sadly, following the 1964 Alaska earthquake, the canneries closed.

Fox Farms

In the 1920s, raising foxes in the area around Seldovia was a big business. At one time, those farms were all over the south shore of Kachemak Bay.

Yes, You can Share This Edition

Your friends and family will be so happy when you share this edition of the Anchorage Memories VIP Club Podcast with them, that they will send you on a luxury cruise around the world… well, it could happen.

Thank you for reading Anchorage Memories VIP Club. This post is public, so feel free to share it.


The Boardwalk

Seldovia was originally built along the waterfront. Settlers had to use the beach at low tide to get to homes and businesses.

Then, in the late 1920s, the community came together to create a wooden boardwalk. The boardwalk was constructed so it could be used regardless of what stage, high or low, the tide was in.

The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake

It was Good Friday, 1964, when suddenly, a peaceful afternoon was shattered by a 9.2 earthquake that savagely shook for 5 long minutes.

The land in Seldovia dropped many feet and the waterfront community was threatened by high tides, reaching as high as 32 feet. The boardwalk, businesses, and homes were flooded by water from Kachemak Bay.

The Seldovia waterfront has since been rebuilt and there is still a section of wooden planks that locals call, “the new boardwalk”.


Do you want to know more about Seldovia?

Take a look at Seldovia, Alaska and discover.

Yes, Seldovia has bounced back several times.

So, if you’ve never visited this unique Alaska community on the shores of Katchamak Bay, you need to put it on your list of places to go.


To enjoy more stories, photos, and videos, visit Anchorage and enjoy.

From our North Stars (that’s you)

From our look at Anchorage Movie Theatre Memories.

Helen sent us this:

Lots of wonderful memories of these great old theaters, it was always a treat to go to a good movie and get hot buttered popcorn and a cold Coke! And I remember the Billiken Drive-in in Muldoon - my mom was the short-order cook there for a couple of seasons!”

And Patti remembers this:

We used to be able to go to a movie for a cereal box top and a dime. I don't remember if it was Post box top or another one. That was our favorite treat, after we got our chores done.”

Jackie commented too:

I don't remember which theater it was, probably the Denali, but in the later 1950s Grandma and I went to see (for reasons unknown) one of those black-and-white scary films. All I remember about it is that during one pivotal scene, Grandma shouted out “LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!” and I was mortally embarrassed! But I caused my own embarrassment at the 4th Avenue Theater during “Lady and the Tramp” when I thought Trusty the bloodhound had been killed. My sobs were so loud, I'm sure they were heard all over the theater.

I loved that you mentioned Frank Butte in the Anchorage movie theatre memories edition, as well as your own scary KTVA story. He was our beloved church organist/choir director in the 60s. Terrific musician, fun to sing under, and he played at our wedding. Wonderful man.”

And Michael remembers this:

Thanks for sharing the history of Anchorage movie theaters. Great story about The Brain That Wouldn't Die. The movie still scares the heck out of me to this day… lol”

Eric made this observation:

I was in the 4th Avenue Theater with a friend in the early 70s. He was an intelligent quirky guy, and he said look up, that's what the Big Dipper looks like from the opposite side of the Universe. And he was right, the Big Dipper was reversed on the ceiling.”

Connect with Us

Did you enjoy this look at the town of Seldovia, Alaska?

If you have a comment, or a suggestion, you can reach us by replying to this email. Or you can Contact Us to say, “I’ve been on the boardwalk in Seldovia”.

By the way, are you enjoying the addition of our podcast feature? Please let us know.

Until next time

Mike and Mary


Anchorage Memories VIP Club Podcast
Anchorage Memories Podcast
A treasure chest of narrated anchorage and Alaska memories. and adventures