Museums & History
The history and strong cultural ties of Haines is truly fascinating, from the Dalton Trail, the Presbyterian missionaries and Historic Fort Seward which all had a hand forming Haines. If you’re a history buff make sure to visit all our museums.
AMERICAN BALD EAGLE FOUNDATION
The American Bald Eagle Foundation is dedicated to the conservation and propagation of our natural symbol and share the scientific and cultural aspects of the eagle through research and education. The foundation recognizing that the natural resources requires proper management for a healthy eagle habitat and other wildlife that live in that environment. Their efforts to assist other regions through their research and education are restoring and preserving the realm of the eagle. Want to see something on the wild side? The American Bald Eagle Foundation gives you a great opportunity to learn more about the amazing raptors and a chance to meet some of their residents.
HAINES SHELDON MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER
Haines Sheldon Museum is located on the original Mission grounds in the downtown area and committed to collecting, preserving and interpreting the history, art and culture from the Chilkat Valley and is open to the public. The museum is named after Steve Sheldon, who moved to Haines in 1911 and married Elisabeth, who were both collectors. After 50 years, their collection was donated by their daughters, under the care of the Chilkat Valley Historical Society. Filled with displays of history from the past to the present at your fingertips.
Local resident Dave Pahl, the Hammer Museum’s founder, became a blacksmith in 1973 and that’s where his collection of hand tools started and grew over the years. He and his wife purchased the hundred-year-old building that houses the museum treasures and collections. Opening in 2002, the first museum dedicating to preserving the history of the tool, “the hammer”, makes for an intriguing tourist stop and bragging rights to your friends. Over 2,000 on display and around 8,000 in storage, it is the world’s largest collection of hammers. Take a walk through history, you won’t be disappointed.
JILKAAT KWAAN CULTURAL CENTER
Located in the village of Klukwan, a traditional native village that has rich cultural history and still maintains a subsistence way of life, is the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Center. Head north on the Haines Highway 22 miles, you will go through the eagle preserve and along the Chilkat River you will spot the village. Wanting to keep their cultural heritage alive and the clan artifacts safe, they started planning for a cultural center and in 2016 the doors opened to the public. Visitors can be a local for the day, tour the exhibits, learn first hand about the Chilkat people, and while you are there don't forget to stop by the store gallery.
Alaska Arts Confluence collaborated with local artists and formed the rumbling stone foundation ruins of one of the Fort Seward Chilkoot barracks buildings to an outdoor sculpture garden for public space. As you explore and stroll through the sculpture garden you will be introduced to our art community through the installations that are housed within. The historic Fort Seward district had been established for a military presence in 1901 and the remnants still exist, most of the buildings are living quarters or businesses.
The history and culture of Haines is truly fascinating. From the Dalton Trail and Historic Fort Seward to the Presbyterian mission that founded the townsite of Haines, if you’re a history buff the past comes alive at the Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center.