Alaska settled on this day

On August 14, 1784, a group of hardy pioneers founded Three Saints Bay, Alaska’s first settlement, on Kodiak Island. The settlers did not come across the Atlantic, but across the Bering Strait. They were Russian fur traders led by Grigory Shelikhov.

Alaska's first settlement on Kodiak Island

Shelikhov’s settlement on Kodiak Island

The settlement had a short life. It was destroyed by an earthquake and its attendant tsunami in 1792. There was no turning back, however, as more fur traders and even orthodox monks sought to arrive at the new land.

Russians moved along the entire Pacific coast all the way to California, but British and American pressure limited the territory controlled by the tsars to what we know today as Alaska. [Read more…]