Spruce Island (Alaska)

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Spruce Island
Line4306 - Flickr - NOAA Photo Library.jpg
Icon Bay
Spruce Island is located in Alaska
Spruce Island
Spruce Island
Location within Alaska
LocationNorth Pacific Ocean
Coordinates57°55′05″N 152°24′35″W / 57.91806°N 152.40972°W / 57.91806; -152.40972Coordinates: 57°55′05″N 152°24′35″W / 57.91806°N 152.40972°W / 57.91806; -152.40972
ArchipelagoKodiak Archipelago
Area17.786 sq mi (46.07 km2)
Highest elevation1,339 ft (408.1 m)
State Alaska
BoroughKodiak Island Borough
Population242 (2000)

Spruce Island (Russian: Еловый остров) is an island in the Kodiak Archipelago of the Gulf of Alaska in the US state of Alaska. It lies just off the northeast corner of Kodiak Island, across the Narrow Strait. Spruce Island has a land area of 46.066 km² (17.786 sq mi) and a population of 242 as of the 2000 census,[1] mostly in its only city, Ouzinkie, in the southwestern part of the island.

Russian Orthodox Church monastery at Monk's Lagoon on Icon Bay, Spruce Island

From 1808 to 1818, Spruce Island was the hermitage of Herman of Alaska, later glorified as a saint and considered the patron saint of the Orthodox Church in the Americas. The island is a site of pilgrimages by Orthodox Christians.

In 2008, researchers led by the mayor of the northern Siberian city of Yakutsk alleged that the island should legally still belong to the Russian Orthodox Church because the Russian Empire had no authority to sell the church's land as part of the Alaska Purchase.[2]