Ketchikan began with the establishment of a salmon cannery in 1880. During the gold rush it enjoyed a brief boom supplying goods to prospectors headed to the Yukon gold fields. For most of the 1900's the town thrived as a fishing and timber center. Today, tourism has joined fishing as the economic mainstay. Located on Revillagigedo Island, Ketchikan is packed between 3000 ft. tall Deer Mt. and the Tongass Narrows channel. The town is home to about 15,000 people in the summer and 8,000 in the winter and boasts a picturesque harbor filled with fishing boats. Houses are tucked into steep foothills and are accessible by wooden stairways which have the status of being named streets and are therefore maintained by the city. Several downtown streets are suspended across trestles and pilings. Huge salmon runs pass through a downtown street. Dubbed "the capital of liquid sunshine" Ketchikan is drenched by an average of 160 inches of rain each year.
The only hot rod i saw in Alaska; a '50 or 51' Chevy i think. The downtown streets and shops will be empty all winter but sales and lots of activity will start up again when the cruise season starts again next spring. I spoke to two summer workers there who would return to their homes in the U.S. as soon as the last ship sails away. One will fly home to San Diego while the other would ride the ferry for 3 days to Bellingham. They'll be back as they say Alaska is in them now and they must return. I kind of know the feeling after going just twice. Well, I guess it happened after the first time too.