Early inhabitants were from Tukekan, a Tlingit winter village to the north. Klawock was used as a summer fishing camp, and has been known as Klawerak, Tlevak, Clevak and Klawak. The history of Klawock is closely tied to the fishing industry. A trading post and salmon saltery were established in 1868, and the first cannery in Alaska was built here by a San Francisco firm in 1878. The subsequent canneries that sprouted in the area were operated under contract with Chinese laborers. A hatchery for red salmon operated at Klawock Lake between 1897 and 1917.
In 1929, Klawock incorporated as a City, and a school was constructed. In 1934, Klawock received federal funds under the Wheeler Howard Act to develop a local cannery, on the condition that residents vote to be liquor-free. In 1971 the Alaska Timber Corp. build a sawmill. Soon after, the Klawock-Heenya Village Corp., the Shaan Seet Corp. of Craig, and Sealaska Timber Corp. expanded area facilities with a log sort yard outside of Klawock and a deep-water dock on Klawock Island. The State constructed a salmon hatchery in 1978.
To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development