Pioneer Square

I decided to fly my drone around and take a picture of downtown Sitka. In the foreground is Totem Park and the Pioneer Home behind it. A contingent of U.S. Marine Corps had been stationed from 1879 to 1892 in a group of barracks built by Russian in the 1800s, located at the actual site of Sitka Pioneer Home. When the troops were withdrawn and the base closed in 1912, the site, which had expanded with the addition of several buildings, remained unused. When the Territory of Alaska was established in August 1912, Sitka representatives asked to the Navy Department the permission to create the Sitka Pioneer Home in the area. The Sitka Pioneer Home was opened in September 1913 on a $10,000 budget. The home struggled financially until the 1930s, when the federal and territorial governments appropriated around $400,000 to replace the dilapidated and fire-prone buildings, creating a new home capable of caring for 170 men. In 1949, upon mandate from the territorial legislature, an expansion was constructed, with women permitted to be taken under care. The Pioneer Home has also played a large part in Sitka’s Alaska Day festivities. The parade through downtown ends close to the grounds and hundreds of people mingle at a free reception inside the home with live entertainment traditionally provided by the New Archangel Dancers. The annual Alaska Day croquet tournament takes place on the grounds at the same time. Original picture taken June 16th, 2016