Juneau City and Borough, Alaska
Juneau City and Borough is a borough located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alexander Archipelago in the state of Alaska. The city is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau, and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of 2000, the population was 30,711. The borough seat is the city of Juneau. Juneau is the only incorporated place, because the city and borough boundaries coincide. Juneau is the only mainland state capital in the U.S. which has no roads leading to it. The only way to get there is with a boat or plane.
The city consolidated the City of Douglas, the City of Juneau and the Greater Juneau Borough Juneau in 1970 to become the country's largest city, larger than the state of Delaware.
There are several glaciers near hiking trails (including the Mendenhall Glacier), one bridge to Douglas Island, an airport, and dead-end roads. A car brought to Juneau must be put on a barge or ferry first.
The Auke and Taku people have lived here for thousands of years. They are Tlingit, with rich artistic traditions including carving, weaving, orating, singing and dancing. After gold was found, a mining camp sprung up. The town was organized in 1881. By the turn of the century, the placer miners had wandered on, but large underground mines were being developed. Juneau was a gritty mining town up through the 1940s. The mines shut down during World War II under wartime orders, as they were not considered essential.
After reaching statehood in 1959, and aided by the completion of the Alaska Pipeline in 1977, Juneau grew with the growth of state government. That growth slowed considerably in the 1990s  and the state demographer expects the borough to grow very slowly  over the next twenty years.
Juneau was named after gold prospector Joe Juneau. The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni, and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Aak'w in Tlingit. The Taku River just south of Juneau was named after the cold t'aak wind that blows down from the mountains and is the source of some of Juneau's more unpleasant weather.
Table of contents
Juneau is located at 58°21'5" North, 134°30'42" West (58.351422, -134.511579)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 8,430.4 km² (3,255.0 mi²). 7,036.1 km² (2,716.7 mi²) of it is land and 1,394.3 km² (538.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 16.54% water.
Adjacent boroughs and census areas
- Stikine Region, British Columbia
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 30,711 people, 11,543 households, and 7,641 families residing in the borough. The population density is 4.4/km² (11.3/mi²). There are 12,282 housing units at an average density of 1.7/km² (4.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the borough is 74.79% White, 0.81% Black or African American, 11.38% Native American, 4.68% Asian, 0.38% Pacific Islander, 1.05% from other races, and 6.91% from two or more races. 3.39% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 11,543 households out of which 36.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% are married couples living together, 10.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% are non-families. 24.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.60 and the average family size is 3.10.
In the borough the population is spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 100.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough is $62,034, and the median income for a family is $70,284. Males have a median income of $46,744 versus $33,168 for females. The per capita income for the borough is $26,719. 6.0% of the population and 3.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.7% of those under the age of 18 and 3.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
In 1880, Sitka mining engineer George Pilz offered a reward to any local chief who could lead him to gold-bearing ore. Chief Kowee arrived with some ore and prospectors were sent to investigate. On their first trip, to Gold Creek, they found little of interest. However, at Chief Kowee's urging, Pilz sent Joe Juneau and Richard Harris back to the Gastineau Channel. This time they went to Snow Slide Gulch, the head of Gold Creek, and found nuggets "as large as peas and beans," in the words of Harris. On October 18, 1880, the two men marked a 160 acre (0.6 km²) town site where soon a mining camp appeared. Within a year the camp became a small town, the first to be founded after Alaska's purchase by the United States.
At the beginning, the town was called Harrisburg after Richard Harris. Later it was called Rockwell. In 1881 the miners met and renamed the town Juneau, after Joe Juneau. In 1906, after the decline of the whaling and fur trade, Sitka, the capital of Alaska, declined in importance and the capital was moved to Juneau.
- Picture of Juneau and Douglas Island, 1914
- Maps and aerial photos
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