Whether you are looking for exploratory activities or want to deepen your knowledge, Haines has you covered. All the museums available at Haines will take you back in time and give you an in-depth look at the history of many topics. Check out these museums Haines has to offer.
Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center
Klukwan is a traditional southwest Alaskan native village with a vibrant cultural history. They used to live in clan houses, but due to flu epidemics, health officials convinced them to live as single families. The flu epidemics, mixed with culturally oppressive forces of government schools and religious teaching, dramatically changed the way people lived.
Over the past years, the government took down many of the clan houses cause they were considered a safety hazard due to their deterioration. So, fewer clan houses and the continuous culturally oppressive forces caused many to turn away from their cultural heritage.
During the early ’70s, a movement towards the Klulwan culture began. In 1976, the Chilkat Indian Village Tribal Government prohibited the removal and sale of clans’ properties without the previous approval of the tribal government. The return of this culture was slowly progressing at first but picked up after the Klukwan Healing Robe started in 1992 during the fall and the Whale House trial happened in 1993. In 2002, the village held a planning and strategy meeting to build the Jilkaat Kwaan Cultural Heritage Center finally.
The purpose of this Heritage Center is to address the Klukwan pressing issue of where to put the unique clan treasures that are no longer kept in clan houses and the community’s desire to rebuild and restore Klukwan’s cultural heritage.
Haines Sheldon Museum
Explore the unique history and culture of the Chilkat Valley and the art and culture of Haines, Alaska, at the Haines Sheldon Museum. This museum is home to 4000+ artifacts like the Eldred Rock lighthouses lenses and Chilkat blankets, +12000 cataloged photographs, +2000 books, and an innumerable amount of documents like journals, research papers, and company ledgers, among other essential documents. The main gallery displays how the Tlingit stronghold of Jilkáat Aani converted into a multi-ethnic community.
The Haines Sheldon Museum is considered an educational institution of Haines Borough. Its mission is to teach, collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the diverse cultures within the Chilkat Valley region.
This museum’s display of artifacts, memorabilia, and clan trust property enhances the locals’ and visitors’ quality of life. It inspires artists and writers and encourages de community pride through its exhibits and multiple programs for schools and the general public.
Founded in May 2002 by Dave and Carol Phal, the Hammer Museum was the world’s first museum dedicated to preserving the hammer’s history. This museum portrays the complex history behind the hammer, making it one of Haine’s top tourist attractions. This museum has the most extensive hammer collection, with +2000 artifacts on display and around 8000 in storage.
The four rooms available in this museum will walk you through the history of this tool. From the rock hammers used to craft the Menkaure Pyramid to Native American and Alaskan tools that built America and chisel to modern tool making. Railroad engineering, shoe making, crab opening, and candy smashing. The Hammer Museum is a unique place on its own.