State capital and ice-free port of Alaska, opposite Douglas Island on Gastineau Channel, in the south Alaskan panhandle (the narrow strip of Alaska running down the Pacific coast alongside British Columbia); population (2000 est) 30,700. The city is the commercial and distribution centre for the fur-trading and mining industries of the panhandle region. The government accounts for half the employment, but also important are tourism, salmon fishing, fish processing, and lumbering. Gold-mining remained important until the closure of the last mine in 1944, but in the 1990s limited mining resumed. Juneau was incorporated as a city in 1900.
History The area was originally home to Tlingit American Indians, but they were displaced by gold prospectors from around the globe who settled there from 1880. Panning for gold quickly gave way to the operation of underground mines by large companies. Named after one of the two prospectors to discover the gold mother lode, Juneau became the capital of the state in 1900, although it only functioned as such from 1906. In 1970 the city's boundaries were extended to cover an area of 6,232 sq km/2,406 sq mi.
As state capital, Juneau is rather poorly placed to administer the huge developing lands and resources of the state – it is 900 km/558 mi by air to Anchorage and 1,700 km/1,054 to Nome – and transportation to and from the city is conducted mainly by aeroplane or boat.
There are 17 entries on the national register of historic places, including miners' cabins. Juneau is the seat of the University of Alaska, Southeast (1956), the Alaska State Museum, and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.
Juneau, Alaska – The Capital City Home Page