- Gustavus, Alaska
official_name = Gustavus, Alaska
settlement_type = CDP
map_caption = Location of Gustavus, Alaska
mapsize = 250x200px
pushpin_label_position = left
pushpin_mapsize = 300
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = Census Area
subdivision_name2 = Hoonah-Angoon
area_total_km2 = 97.6
area_land_km2 = 97.6
area_water_km2 = 0
area_total_sq_mi = 37.7
area_land_sq_mi = 37.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 429
timezone = Alaska (AKST)
utc_offset = -9
timezone_DST = AKDT
utc_offset_DST = -8
elevation_m = 3
elevation_ft = 10
latd = 58 |latm = 24 |lats = 59 |latNS = N
longd = 135 |longm = 44 |longs = 44 |longEW = W
Gustavus is a city in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the
U.S. stateof Alaska. At the 2000 census the population was 429.
Gustavus is located at coor dms|58|24|59|N|135|44|44|W|type:city_region:US (58.416327, -135.745549)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38 square miles (98 km²), all of it land.
Gustavus is split by the
Salmon River, across which there is a bridge for the paved road running out to Glacier Bay National Park. Coho salmon, Dolly Varden, and other fish are commonly caught in this river. Within the city limits, the river is affected by tides.
Gustavus, formerly known as Strawberry Point, lies on the outwash plain created by the
glaciersthat once filled Glacier Bay. Two hundred years ago, it was primarily a single large "beach". The native Tlingitand others used the area for fishing, berrypicking, and other similar uses. The town itself is less than hundred years old. The first settlers arrived in 1914, but left shortly afterward. The first permanent homestead was established in 1917, when Abraham Lincoln Parker moved his family to Strawberry Point. Many Gustavus residents are descendants and relatives of the original Parker homesteaders.
In 1925 the name became Gustavus, when the U.S Post Office required a change for its new post office, although locals continued calling it Strawberry Point long afterwards. The new name came from "Point Gustavus" at the mouth of Glacier Bay.
George Vancouvernamed Point Adolphus (today a well-known humpback whalefeeding area) after Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of King George III. In 1878, W.H. Dall, while working on a coastal survey, saw "Adolphus" on the map and assumed it was for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The point across Icy Straits from Point Adolphus at the mouth of Glacier Bay was not named on the map, so Dall called it "Gustavus".
There is still a large beach at Gustavus, with many strawberries. It is surrounded on three sides by
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and on the fourth side by water. The area is a temperate rain forest; spruceand hemlock trees reach heights of 60 m (200 ft), and alders, balsam poplar, fern, mosses, fireweed, lupine, and other plants are also common. Gustavus's coastal location gives it a relatively mild winter. Summer temperatures range from 11°C to 17°C (52–63°F); winter temperatures from -3°C to 4°C (26–39°F).
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 429 people, 199 households, and 114 families residing in the city. The population density was 4.4/km² (11.4/sq mi). There were 345 housing units at an average density of 9.2/sq mi (3.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89% white, 0% black or African American, 4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2% from other races, and 4% from two or more races. 1.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 199 households out of which 28% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47% were married couples living together, 6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43% were non-families. 38% of all households were made up of individuals and 6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.2 and the average family size was 2.9.
In the city the population was spread out with 26% under the age of 18, 3% from 18 to 24, 30% from 25 to 44, 36% from 45 to 64, and 5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 130 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 135 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $34,800, and the median income for a family was $51,800. Males had a median income of $41,800 versus $29,400 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,100. 15% of the population and 10% of families were below the poverty line. 13% of those under the age of 18 and 14% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
The Gustavus economy is strongly linked to the surrounding natural resources; tourism and
commercial fishingare mainstays. However, the importance of commercial fishing is in decline, as the Dungeness crabfishery in Glacier Bay National Park was closed in the early 2000s and the fishing for Dungeness outside of the national park has become poor. Salmonand halibutremain as the primary catch of the commercial fishing done out of Gustavus. Those not involved in tourism or seafood typically work for the government at the public school, the post office, the National Park Service, or the City of Gustavus.
Activities and Related Information
* [http://www.blackrockcharters.com Fish Gustavus Alaska with Black Rock Charters]
* [http://www.gustavus-ak.gov City of Gustavus]
* [http://www.gustavusak.com Gustavus Visitor's Association]
* [http://www.gustavushistory.org Gustavus Historical Archives & Antiquities]
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