a draft preservation plan for the Fort
was introduced during a public meeting. Around 30 people attended the event
which took place at the Bayside fire station and was put on by Alaska's Office of
History and Archaeology. The OHA is part of the state Division of Parks and
Outdoor Recreation. Last night, after
an overview of the draft plan was presented, the meeting was opened for questions
and then for public comment.
One of the
meeting facilitators was Doug Gessick who is the state architectural historian.
-- (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 1 :24 "Our main goal ...
The Fort Abercrombie
preservation plan has been in development since 2008. At that time, it was
determined that preservation plans were needed to fulfill the ten year strategic
goals of the state park system. Those goals call for a proactive approach to
the stewardship of Alaska's
cultural, ecological, scenic and scientific assets.
Abercrombie State Historical Park Preservation Plan is the first of four
preservation plans being developed for national Historic Landmarks in the
increasingly popular Kodiak
Museum is located in the
park but is not a part of the state parks department. The museum was created
and is run by volunteers, including the museum director, Dave Osslin.
-- (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 2 :22 "I'm excited that ... make this happen.")
A lively discussion about the park
took place after the preservation plan was introduced. The opinions in the
group were diverse, but a strong interest in preserving the history and the
beauty of the park were common threads among those that spoke at the meeting.
Another meeting about Fort Abercrombie
will be held on Tuesday at the high school. That meeting will feature a
presentation about the proposed addition of a bus turn around and a parking lot
to the North of where the Miller Point campground is located. Those
controversial changes are intended to improve safety and access to the
historical sites at the park including the museum. Those development plans were
NOT the topic of the preservation plan meeting, but for many, the issues were
on the forefront of last night's discussion.
Museum director Osslin said that he
thinks preserving the history of the park is the most pressing issue.
-- (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 3 :24 "The parking lot ... future
Historical architect Gessick
said the comments given last night will now be reviewed and considered.
-- (Ft Abercrombie Mtg 4 :21 "We just wanted ... next
was the site of a military outpost during World War Two. The fort was abandoned
after the war and became a part of the Alaska
state park system in 1969. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in
1985. Abercrombie was one of a cluster of World War Two sites on Kodiak Island
and part of the country's first line of defense along with naval bases at Sitka and Dutch harbor.