SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


City of Coffman Cove Receives National 'Windows on the Past' Award


May 31, 2007

Coffman Cove, Alaska - The City of Coffman Cove has received a national award for its efforts to engage the public in historic preservation activities. On May 2, acting Thorne Bay District Ranger Dennis Benson presented Mayor Mikael Ash of Coffman Cove with the National Windows on the Past Award for 2007. The award, the Forest Service's highest honor for public outreach in Historic Preservation, recognizes Coffman Cove's long-term commitment and perseverance in the study of archaeological sites at the City's waterfront and acknowledges the City's role in supporting the Coffman Cove Community Archaeology Project.

jpg National Windows on the Past

Mayor Mikael Ash (center-back) with Dennis Benson, and Elaine Price (with plaque) pose with the students of Southeast Island School District's Howard Valentine School during presentation of the National Award.
Photo courtesy USFS - Tongass National Forest

The Coffman Cove Community Archaeology Project (CCCAP) focuses on an ancient Tlingit village situated on the waterfront within the modern community of Coffman Cove on the northeast coast of Southeast Alaska's Prince of Wales Island. According to the Forest Service, since the inception of CCCAP in 1997, the City has been a driving force behind the project, cooperating with multiple partners to provide research, educational, economic, interpretive, and social benefits from what some might have seen as a land management problem. Additionally, the Forest Service said the leaders in Coffman Cove recognized the opportunities embodied in the archaeological site and with the help of the Forest Service, the local Tribal governments, the State of Alaska, the University of Oregon, Southeast Island School District, and other partners, cooperated in building a multi-faceted program. In 2005 the City hosted a Project Archaeology Teachers' Institute. And in the summer of 2006 the City welcomed and supported an archaeological team consisting of a contractor (Northern Land Use Research of Fairbanks), student interns, Forest Service archaeologists and volunteers. The archaeologists recovered the remains of over 4,000 years of human occupation of the Coffman Cove waterfront.

jpg archaeologist Terry Fifield

Elaine Price and Forest Service Archaeologist Terry Fifield
Photo courtesy USFS - Tongass National Forest

The City of Coffman Cove's enthusiasm and willingness to support the project has been a key to the project's success said the Forest Service. The partners in the Coffman Cove Community Archaeology Project, led by Forest Service Archaeologist Terry Fifield, submitted the nomination for the Alaska Region Windows on the Past Award. The project won the regional award, and the nomination was subsequently forwarded on to the national level. The City of Coffman Cove was selected from among nominees from all Forest Service Regions across the country as the national winner for 2007. The plaque and letter of award, signed by the new Chief of the Forest Service, Gail Kimbell, were presented at the Howard Valentine School with the participation of the students. The award letter mentions several people who have been especially supportive of the project (Elaine Price, DeeDee Jeffreys, Liz Mosenthin, Julie and Ron Hull, Judy Lux, Kevin Moore, Gary Wilburn, Carolyn Duncan, Janice Schad) and thanks the entire community for its support.

The 2006 fieldwork at Coffman Cove marked Phase I of a three-phase effort to learn about the City's past through the science of archaeology. The CCCAP partners hope to continue the project with further excavation, analysis, education, and interpretation in years to come.


Source of News & Photograph:

United States Forest Service - Tongass National Forest
Ketchikan Office


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Ketchikan, Alaska