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Philip D. Welsh

SPH Administrator
philip.welsh@alaska.gov

Contact Us

120 Katlian Street
Sitka, AK 99835-7525
Phone: (907) 747-3213
Fax: (907) 747-2115

Sitka Pioneer Home

Overview

The Sitka Pioneer Home has a rich history that is woven into the state and territorial story of Alaska. The home had humble beginnings as a log barracks that had been built by the Russians in the 1800's.

A contingent of the U.S. marines was stationed in Sitka in 1879, and until 1892 the men were quartered in the Russian built log barracks. Buildings were added in subsequent years. The base had expanded, but was closed in 1912 and the buildings stood idle. The people of Sitka were anxious to have a home for the increasing number of pioneers, prospectors, and others who were no longer able to care for themselves.

Alaska became a Territory in 1912 and in August of that year a bill was introduced by Sitka's Representative, Arthur G. Shoup, to appropriate $10,000 and establish the Alaska Pioneer Home at Sitka. The Navy Department gave permission to use the old barracks for that purpose and the Home opened in September 1913.

Only indigent men were admitted to the Home in the early years. By the early 1930s, in addition to being something of a fire trap, the buildings were becoming dilapidated and expensive to maintain. Congress enacted a law granting the former Naval Reserve to the Territory of Alaska. It was at this time that the present concrete building was constructed.

The new building housed 170 men but there were no facilities for women. The 1949 Legislature provided funds for a women's Home, and a former church, adjoining the Pioneer Home, was purchased for that purpose. The arrangement was not wholly satisfactory and in 1956 the new North Wing was added to the main building. It housed women and married couples at first, and later was occupied by single men and women, as well. The building has since undergone remodeling and renovations. The most recent renovation was to add a living space in the North Wing to provide care for residents with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia.

Inside our home

Today's Sitka Pioneer Home has a capacity to serve 75 men and women and provides care at three different levels:

  • Level I (independent)
  • Level II (basic assistance)
  • Level III (24-hour care for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders and comprehensive services)

The Sitka Pioneer Home is an Eden Alternative® Registered Home. The home is committed to providing compassionate care to residents, staff, family and community in a home that nurtures the human body, mind and spirit while preserving dignity and individuality. ​​

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