Wandering Lizard

An online magazine with information related to attractions, lodging, dining,
and travel resources in selected areas of Alaska

City and Borough of Juneau

Juneau was solely the province of the Tlingit Indians before gold was discovered by Joe Juneau and Richard Harris in October 1880. (Actually Tlingit Indians led them to their famous find.) Miners rushed into the area and a small community was born that was called Harrisburg. In February 1881, the name was changed to Rockwell, but Joe Juneau lobbied hard and got it changed to Juneau by the end of the year. Placer gold mining was followed by hard rock mining and the mining camp turned into a major community by the start of the nineteenth century. At the time of the discovery of gold in the Juneau area, Sitka was the capital of the District of Alaska. In 1906, however, the capital of the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka to Juneau. Sitka's fur and whaling industries were in decline while the discovery of gold was stimulating the economy and growth of Juneau. As Alaska progressed from District to Territory in 1912 and on to Statehood in 1959, Juneau has remained the capital of Alaska even though there is periodic consideration to building a new capital elsewhere.

City and Borough of Juneau City and Borough of Juneau