Talk:Unalaska, Alaska

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Thomas Campbell[edit]

I need to see some documentation before I accept this stuff about Campbell and The Pleasures of Hope. Frankly, it makes no sense to me whatsoever, both chronologically and logically. Show me that Campbell knew about Ounalashka somehow (almost no one in Europe or even the United States did during his lifetime) and explain to me how he would link Ounalashka with the lumber industries Outside, given the fact that there are exactly ZERO indigenous trees on the islands. (There are a few [less than 100] stunted trees that have obtained "towering" heights of perhaps 12 feet high in the 200 years since the Russians planted them. Cut one down, and change your address to a prison residence.) Unschool 05:49, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

To the People Of Unalaska: You are Part of American Frontier Place Name History Through Thomas Campbell[edit]

There is no connection of Unalaska to the lumber industry. Only the four Onalaskas of the lower 48 are associated with lumber. Unalaska and the lower 48's Onalaskas are only related through Campbell's poem. If he had not decided to write the poem, no new Onalaskas would exist in the United States.

The people of Europe knew about the existence of what we now know as Unalaska,long before you have noted, Unschool.

The name "Onalaska" definitely comes from Unalaska Island and what is now the current City of Unalaska, Alaska. Thomas Campbell would often use what he thought were exotic place names in his poems. Yet, he would often make mistakes when using them. In The Pleasures of Hope, for example, he connects wolves to Unalaska. There are no wolves in Unalaska and probably haven't been since the last ice age. Even naturalist and writer John Muir pointed out the lack of wolves, etc. on Unalaska Island.

Campbell's collection of poems were popular in public schools in the United States in the mid-1800s. One of the founders of Onalaska, WI, Thomas G. Rowe (NY) carried a copy with him on his journeys. He decided to give his new town the name "Oonalaska" as it had been spelled in Campbell's poem. His friend and roommate at the time, attorney and later judge Harvey Hubbard, thought he should drop the superfluous (extra) "o" and so came about the modernday spelling of Onalaska. An added note, Unschool, Thomas G. Rowe's business partner in his Onalaska venture was John C. Laird, who had taught school in Pennsylvania and in La Crosse, WI. Laird's brother-in-law, Abner Goddard, was the first school teacher in the then village of La Crosse. These people had to be aware of the popularity of Campbell's poems in the grade schools of the frontier United States.

The name Onalaska was carried by settlers and lumberman as they moved across the American frontier. People from Onalaska,WI founded Onalaska, AR. That new settlement eventually failed and settlers from the area moved south and founded Onalaska, TX. In turn, people from Onalaska, TX helped found Onalaska, WA.

People from the other Onalaskas are very aware of the existence of Unalaska, its connection to the fishing industry as well as its World War II history. They know there are no naturally grown trees there, except those planted. Men stationed in the Aleutians during WWII have visited Onalaska, WI.

Unalaska, you are not alone. You have sister cities in the lower 48, due in large part, to romantic poet Thomas Campbell, who never travelled outside of Europe.

The Pleasures of Hope was finished in 1799. It was very popular but was not one of Campbell's favorite poems that he wrote. Campbell was interviewed about his famous "wolf couplet" in the Pleasures of Hope in 1844 by Fraser's Magazine, a British literary publication (the article from the interview was published in Nov. of 1844). In the interview, Campbell makes note that he borrowed the couplet from another earlier poem, the Sentimental Sailor. Campbell is so famous for The Pleasures of Hope and that particular wolf couplet that the couplet is inscribed on his tombstone in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, England.

A final note: Campbell wrote The Pleasures of Hope after living and working on the Island of Mull, one of the Hibredes Islands of Scotland -- he became extremely homesick. A college friend had written to him about new poems that were coming out, including The Pleasures of Imagination, The Pleasures of Memory, and the Pleasures of Solitude. The friend ended his letter with "Let us cherish the Pleasures of Hope that we soon may meet in our old Alma Mater" -- and thus came about the title of Campbell's new poem, published when he was 21 years old.

At the very least, the people of Unalaska should know that their island is immortalized in Poets' Corner,Westminster Abbey. No other place in the United States can claim such an honor, in association with the greatest writers and poets of the English speaking world.

See: The biography on Campbell by Mary Ruth Miller; Also "From Sawmills to Sunfish" by John and Joan Dolbier, as well as various La Crosse County, Wisconsin histories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:00, January 24, 2006

...there are no official sister city relationships between any Onalaska and Unalaska, Alaska - the only link they share is that the names of the towns come from the same foreign word. — Indi [ talk ] 19:29, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Year of the Alaska Purchase Should be Included[edit]

The year of the Alaska Purchase by the United States (1867) should be included in the article about Unalaska. As the article now reads, it sounds as if the purchase was made in 1880: "In 1880, after the Alaska Purchase, the Methodist Church ..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:13, January 24, 2006

Jack London[edit]

A bit of trivia: Writer Jack London used the place name Unlalaska in The Sea Wolf:

"Smallpox in 'Onolulu, two broken legs in Shanghai, pnuemonia in Unalaska, three busted ribs an' my insides all twisted in 'Frisco."

Retrieved from "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:33, January 24, 2006

John Muir's Association with Unalaska Island[edit]

It would be an interesting addition to this article if mention were made of the visit of John Muir to the Aleutians during the cruise of the Corwin in 1881:

The Cruise of the Corwin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:56, January 24, 2006

Part of the Story: The 4 Onalaskas of the Lower 48[edit]

A good online article by Bob Bowman on the Onalaskas of the Lower 48 States:

[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:21, February 3, 2006

Naming of Onalaska, Wisconsin[edit]

Introduction page to City of Onalaska, Wisconsin web site. Notes how the city got its name: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:27, February 3, 2006

That's nice, but this article deals with Unalaska, Alaska. Should the fact that there is more than one Wilmington in North America be mentioned in every article for a city named Wilmington? What about Gladstone, or maybe Durham? — Indi [ talk ] 19:29, 30 March 2006 (UTC)


I always thought it was Unalaska, like UN-Alaska.

  • The town in the Aleutians is Unalaska; these other people are getting off on ridiculous tangents.Unschool 14:29, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


A rather dull, uninteresting article.

The usual Wiki overstatement[edit]

Some lefty working in Dutch Harbor for a year doesn't make him a notable resident. And as for his project, "one of the most politically powerful poverty-reduction organizations on Capitol Hill..." The fact that its contact address is a Seattle PO Box (see means it's probably not on Capitol Hill. I merely eliminated the ridiculous overstatement for now, but that whole section should probably be reworked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

It was spam and the website has since been blacklisted. Thanks for spotting. -- SiobhanHansa 13:12, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Languages spoken?[edit]

Anyone have a breakdown on this? (talk) 02:53, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Unalaska vs. Dutch Harbor[edit]

It would be nice if the article were clearer about why it is sometimes called Dutch Harbor. Was it ever officially named that? Or was it just a nickname? If so, why? That would be useful. -- (talk) 20:38, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Dutch Harbor is the name of the port on Amaknak Island and is the common name of the island; it is part of Unalaska city, which in turn is part of Unalaska Island. It is common enough that Unalaska Airport has the IATA and FAA code DUT. --Rumping (talk) 10:07, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Bald eagles[edit]

This picture from panoramio suggests (if you zoom in) that there is a large population of bald eagles, presumably feeding from the fishing boats. --Rumping (talk) 10:07, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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