Kake, Alaska

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Kake, Alaska
Location in Alaska
Location in Alaska
Coordinates: 56°58′15″N 133°56′02″W / 56.97083°N 133.93389°W / 56.97083; -133.93389Coordinates: 56°58′15″N 133°56′02″W / 56.97083°N 133.93389°W / 56.97083; -133.93389
CountryUnited States
Census AreaPrince of Wales-Hyder
IncorporatedNovember 3, 1951[1]
 • MayorLloyd Davis
 • Total14.97 sq mi (38.78 km2)
 • Land8.96 sq mi (23.21 km2)
 • Water6.01 sq mi (15.56 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • Total557
 • Estimate 
 • Density37.60/sq mi (14.52/km2)
Time zoneUTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
Area code907
FIPS code02-36770
GNIS feature ID1422926, 2419403

Kake (/ˈkk/, like 'cake') is a first-class city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 557 at the 2010 census.[3] The name comes from the Tlingit word Ḵéix̱ (Northern Tlingit) or Ḵéex̱ (Southern Tlingit), which is derived from ḵée 'dawn, daylight' and x̱ʼé 'mouth', i.e. 'mouth of dawn' or 'opening of daylight'.


Kake is located at 56°58′15″N 133°56′2″W / 56.97083°N 133.93389°W / 56.97083; -133.93389 (56.970841, -133.933751).[5] Kake is on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), of which, 8.2 square miles (21 km2) of it is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) of it (42.37%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2016563[4]1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

Kake first reported on the 1880 U.S. Census as the Tlingit village of Keex Kwaan[7] (not to be confused with the present Klukwan). It formally reported as Kake beginning in 1910. It incorporated in 1951.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 710 people, 246 households, and 171 families residing in the city. The population density was 87.0 people per square mile (33.6/km²). There were 288 housing units at an average density of 35.3 per square mile (13.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 24.08% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 66.76% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 8.03% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 246 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.49.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,643, and the median income for a family was $42,857. Males had a median income of $44,167 versus $20,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,411. About 13.2% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.7% of those under the age of 18 and 4.0% of those 65 and older.


Prior to Alaska Purchase[edit]

The region of Kake has been inhabited by the Tlingit indigenous people for thousands of years.

The Tlingit of the Kake region gained a reputation among early European and American explorers of being strong and powerful. Some conflicts with early explorers have been documented by historians. Some scholars believe the first explorer to enter Tlingit lands was the Briton Francis Drake, who traveled to the area near present-day Kake in 1579.[9]

After Alaska Purchase[edit]

In the February 1869 Kake War the USS Saginaw destroyed three deserted villages and two forts near present-day Kake. Prior to the conflict, two white trappers were killed by the Kake in retribution for the death of two Kake departing Sitka. Sitka was the site of a standoff between the Army and some Tlingits who refused to surrender Chief Colchika, who was involved in an altercation in Fort Sitka. While no Kake died in the destruction of the villages, except perhaps for a single old woman, some died over the winter due to the loss of winter stores, canoes, and shelter led to the death. The villages were not rebuilt, and their inhabitants dispersed to other villages or remained in the vicinity, eventually rebuilding the present day Kake.[10][11]

Kake is the site of a 128-foot totem pole, one of the world's largest, carved in 1967 for the Alaska Purchase centennial.


A first-class city,[12] Kake has a mayor-council form of government which is composed of a mayor and six council members. The city also has a city manager.


The Kake City School District operates the city's school.

Notable residents[edit]


  • Dombrowski, Kirk (2001) Against Culture: Development, Politics, and Religion in Indian Alaska. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


  1. ^ Alaska City Officials Directory 1959–1960. Information Bulletin Number 23. Palmer: League of Alaskan Cities. December 1959. p. 11.
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Kake city, Alaska". Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Geological Survey Professional Paper". U.S. Government Printing Office. 1 March 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ Bawlf, R. Samuel (2001). Sir Francis Drake's secret voyage to the Northwest coast of America, AD 1579. Salt Spring Island, B.C.: Sir Francis Drake Publications.
  10. ^ Harring, Sidney L. "The Incorporation of Alaskan Natives Under American Law: United States and Tlingit Sovereignty, 1867-1900." Ariz. L. Rev. 31 (1989): 279.
  11. ^ R., Jones, Z. ""Search For and Destroy": US Army Relations with Alaska's Tlingit Indians and the Kake War of 1869". Ethnohistory. 60 (1).
  12. ^ "Alaska Taxable 2011: Municipal Taxation - Rates and Policies" (PDF). Division of Community and Regional Affairs, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. January 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-25.
  13. ^ Susan W. Fair (2006). Alaska Native Art: Tradition, Innovation, Continuity. University of Alaska Press. pp. 218–. ISBN 978-1-889963-79-2.

External links[edit]