Gustavus, Alaska is a small town about 35 miles west of Juneau if you can fly over the mountains that day. Otherwise you have to go around the mountains or come in on boat. Either way it is not your typical commute. The town currently thrives over the Sport Fishing Industry and all of the businesses required to support the Alaskan Men and Women who keep the boats, lodges and restaurants humming at 'Gustavus' speed. Below are some common facts about Gustavus, along with the answers to a few questions locals get asked a lot. However, before you read the facts and figures, why not read an Historical account of Gustavus by a man who has liver there for over 50 years.
When was the town of Gustavus, Alaska founded?
In June of 1914 the first settlers of Gustavus, Alaska set up camp on the shores of the Salmon River. The settler's Bill and Margaret Taggert, John and Bernice Davis, along Verne and Janet “Janie” Henry are considered the founders of Gustavus.
What was the towns original name?
Gustavus was originally known as Strawberry Point on account of all the wild strawberries that grow in the area. However, in 1925 the United States Post Office changed the name to Gustavus due to its proximity to the mouth of Glacier Bay known as Gustavus Point.
When and Why was the Gustavus Airport Built?
In 1942 as a direct result of WWII and the threat of the Japanese, the United States saw the need to build an airport capable of handling the major bombers of the day. As a result a full sized runway was built to accommodate the giant beasts of the sky. This is the same airport that allows Alaska Airline's Jets to make their daily commute over to the isolated town during the summer months.
Gateway to Glacier Bay
In 1956 the road from Gustavus to Glacier Bay was established, this allowed goods/services and tourism an easier access to and from Gustavus. Now people finally knew of Gustavus, even if it was only known as the Gateway to Glacier Bay.
Does Gustavus have a Post Office?
Yes, it has been around almost as long as the town
Does Gustavus have a School?
Yes, Gustavus has a public school teaching children from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Does Gustavus have paved roads?
Yes, but we still have the gravel roads as well. No stop lights yet...
What is the status of Gustavus, Alaska?
The City of Gustavus was incorporated in 2004. It has both a City Council and a Mayor.
What is the population of Gustavus, Alaska?
The most recent count is 441 people call Gustavus home.
How many tourists come to Gustavus every year?
The estimated amount is around 60,000 visitors come every year.
What is the average temperature?
In the summer it is around 55-60 degrees, in the winter it hovers right around freezing.
What is the elevation of Gustavus, Alaska?
Gustavus runs right out to the water at sea level, and then back into the hills where it gets a little higher. I doubt any place in the city limits is more than 20 feet above sea level.