The town of Ketchikan, Alaska, is of humble origins, having begun as a fishing camp for native tribes of the area. As word spread of the abundance of fish in Ketchikan Creek, its numbers grew, and several canneries were eventually built on the creek's shores. Along with its "fishy' background, Ketchikan also has a fine history of logging under its otter-skin belt. The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show reflects this history and takes place at the mouth of the creek. Log-rolling and tree-climbing competitions bring back the grandeur (and hard work) of a time and place that made Ketchikan, for a time , the center of Alaska's logging industry.    

The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary (that's right - rainforest) recalls the memory of early lumber extraction and offers a hike through the forest that also abuts the shoreline. Farther south, the George Inlet Cannery retraces the steps of Ketchikan's early fish industry, with a tour of historic buildings and original equipment.

The Tongass Historical Museum houses artifacts, documents, and photography, with rotating themes, including one that gives local residents an opportunity to display personal items and artifacts significant to Ketchikan and Alaska. The Totem Heritage Center is a shelter of sorts, for 19th-century totem poles originally left to deteriorate in abandoned native villages. The poles have been "rehabilitated" and are on display for both study and pure interest.