Hinchinbrook Island (Alaska)

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Old photo of the Cape Hinchinbrook, Alaska

Hinchinbrook Island (Russian: Хинчинбрук) is an island in the Gulf of Alaska lying at the entrance to Prince William Sound in the state of Alaska, United States. The island has a land area of 171.98 sq mi (445.438 km²), making it the 37th largest island in the United States. There was a population of five permanent residents as of the 2000 census.

Cape Hinchinbrook Light is located on the southwest side of the island. Also on the southwest side is the abandoned village of Nuchek on Port Etches (bay). The Chugach Alaska Corporation now runs the Nuuciq Spirit Camp at this site.

During the Cold War, a US Government White Alice radar site was located on the northeast corner of the island. This site is now abandoned, and all that remains is a trail to the former antenna site on a small hill to the southwest and several of the buildings. Nearby Boswell Bay Airport is the landing strip that formerly served this site. A few houses comprise the hamlet of Boswell Bay across the bay to the south. The State of Alaska maintains Boswell Bay Marine State Park nearby on Boswell Bay.

In 1792, a battle occurred on Hinchinbrook Island between Yakutat Tlingit and a group of Russians and Kodiak Sugpiaq led by Alexander Baranov. The Tlingit had likely come to the island seeking retribution after the Chugach Sugpiaq had raided them the previous year.[1]

In 1797, Baranov visited Fort Konstantinovsk, built by the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company, on the island he called Nuchek Island. Most of these men joined his Shelikhov-Golikov Company.[2]:8–9

In the middle of May, 1920, the 1,502 ton United States Lighthouse Service Tender Armeria became stranded on the rocks near Cape Hinchinbrook. She was attempting to rescue the barge Haydn Brown but ended up a casualty herself. The crew of 36 were rescued by the steamer Admiral Sampson. The vessel, valued at $344,000, became a total loss. Some of the $70,000 cargo of coal, buoys and supplies for area lighthouses was salvaged.[3]


  1. ^ Frederica De Laguna, Under Mount Saint Elias: The History and Culture of the Yakutat Tlingit (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972), p. 159.
  2. ^ Khlebnikov, K.T., 1973, Baranov, Chief Manager of the Russian Colonies in America, Kingston: The Limestone Press, ISBN 0919642500
  3. ^ The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 211

Coordinates: 60°22′55″N 146°27′25″W / 60.38194°N 146.45694°W / 60.38194; -146.45694