Whittier is located at the head of Passage Canal, and was originally a portage route for the Chugach Indians of Prince William Sound as they traveled to fish the Turnagain Arm.
A Historical Landmark
The city of Whittier itself is a historical landmark, established by the United States Army during World War II. The Whittier railroad to Portage was completed in 1943 and became the primary debarkation point for cargo, troops, and dependants of the Alaska Command. The Whittier base remained active until 1960 with a total population of 1200.
The current population of 300 who reside in Whittier primarily support the Alaska State Ferry, the Alaska Railroad, the Alaska Hydro Train, the tank farm, and the 300- slip Small Boat Harbor.
Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel
Travel between Prince William Sound and Turnagain Arm was orginally carried out by Chugach Eskimos who hunted and gathered in this area, making the trek over Portage Pass to trade with the Athabaskan Indians of Cook Inlet. Many miners and prospectors also used Portage Pass to reach the gold fields of Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula in the late 19th century. Today travel is much easier due to the construction of the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the longest shared rail and private vehicle tunnel in the North America (13,300' or 2.5 miles).
Prince William Sound Cruises & Tours - Winner of the 2004 & 2005 C.R.U.I.S.E Award!
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