Fire Insurance Maps of Sitka, Alaska


Shown here is a fire insurance map for Sitka, Alaska, produced by the Sanborn Map Company in 1914. The Sanborn Map Company published such maps for thousands of municipalities across the United States, beginning just after the Civil War, in 1867. The map shows then-extant buildings in Sitka, Alaska, subdivided by town section and highlighting type of structure (frame, brick, stone, iron, or adobe) by color code provided in the key. The inset map in the upper left shows the Sheldon Jackson School for Indians (later Sheldon Jackson College), named for the Presbyterian minister and missionary Sheldon Jackson (1834–1909). The map also includes information on the location and updated manpower status of the municipal fire department, and the type and storage capacity of available water facilities for extinguishing fires. The map provides information on the different historical periods in the development of the town of Sitka, and notes that the Russian-era structures and Native American residences were better-constructed and more fire-resistant than the more recent buildings of white settlers from the United States who came after the Alaska Purchase in 1867. Each part of the map is oriented north. The Sanborn maps were noteworthy for details such as these that went beyond the layout of town streets and buildings, and for this reason have become a valuable resource for historical research on communities across the United States.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Sanborn Map Company, New York


Title in Original Language

Sitka, Alaska

Type of Item

Physical Description

7 maps (3 folios) : color


  1. “Introduction to the Sanborn Map Collection,” Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Last updated: January 27, 2016