|Welcome to Whittier
Situated at the head of Passage Canal, the community of Whittier is approximately 58 miles southeast of Anchorage. Whittier is by far the most visited gateway to the mesmerizing wilderness of Prince William Sound. Each summer, thousands of visitors arrive at this magnificent port by ship, train, or automobile.
This area originally was part of the portage route for the Chugach Indians of Prince William Sound traveling to fish the Turnagain Arm. Later the Russians and Americans exploring the region also used this passage. It was used by prospecting miners during the gold rush as it was the quickest passage from the Sound to the Cook Inlet and Interior regions. The city itself is a historical area, established by the U.S. Army during World War II. The Federal railroad to Portage was completed in 1943 and became the primary debarkation point for cargo, troops, and dependents of the Alaska Command.
In 1948 the military began construction of the first of two buildings for their military personnel as the Port of Whittier was then recognized as an ice-free, deepwater port strategically located to Anchorage and Interior Alaska. This remained active until 1960 at which time the total population was 1200.
The City of Whittier was incorporated in 1969. Today, less than 300 people reside in the town supporting the Alaska State Ferry, the Alaska Railroad, freight barge, commercial fishing, the Whittier Harbor, recreation and tourism with an annual visiting population of over 700,000.
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