Sitka Pioneer Home
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Sitka Pioneers' Home
The Sitka Pioneer Home
|Location||120 Katlian Street, Sitka, Alaska 99835|
|Area||3 acres (1.2 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||79000413|
|Added to NRHP||October 18, 1979|
The Sitka Pioneer Home is an assisted living home, located in the U.S. state of Alaska at 120 Katlian Street in downtown Sitka. Operated by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services under its Division of Pioneer Homes, it is the oldest and third-largest of the six homes in the Pioneer Home system. The building was designed by the Tacoma firm of Heath, Gove & Bell and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Sitka Pioneer Home was opened in a derelict U.S. Marine Corps barracks in 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.
Currently, the Sitka Pioneer Home is the third largest Alaska Pioneer Home and can care for 65 residents including those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The home uses a three-tiered system of care: tier I or "Independent", tier II or "Basic Assistance", and tier III or "24-Hour Care".
A statue entitled The Prospector, sculpted by Alonzo Victor Lewis, serves as the centerpiece of the grounds of the Sitka Pioneer Home. The sculpture was supposed to be modeled after real-life pioneer William Clark "Skagway Bill" Fonda, a resident of Skagway and originally of Fonda, New York. This statue is the larger of two models that Lewis created. The smaller of which sits in Seattle's Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Pioneer Square. After more than three tons of clay and 21 years of fundraising, the sculpture was finally shipped to Sitka in time for its dedication at 1949's Alaska Day.