NoeHill Travels in the American West: Alaska

National Register of Historic Places in Borough of Sitka

National Register #78000537: See House in Sitka 16 May 2011
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #78000537
See House
611 Lincoln Street
Built 1905

The first Episcopal Bishop of Alaska, Peter Trimble Rowe, designed this house to complement St. Peter's-By-the-Sea and built it with his own hands. The See House house is Gothic in appearance but not in construction principles.

Bishop Rowe established his headquarters at Sitka in April 1896. He left immediately for the interior to see what he must do in his newly accepted charge. He traveled over the Chilkat Trail to the Yukon two years before the Klondike gold stampede. He transported his own dunnage and built his own boats.

He established hospitals, libraries, schools and mission churches to serve the needs of both the Natives and the incoming Sourdoughs. He worked tirelessly to create a bridge for the Natives between their past and their future and to provide aid and succor to the Sourdough hordes who often mindlessly descended upon the vast wilderness unprepared to cope with its relentless demands upon the human mind and body.

From 1896 until his death in 1942, Bishop Rowe made approximately forty-six journeys - traveling up the length of the Yukon River, north to Nome and west to the Aleutians - often all in the same trip.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1978.

My research did not reveal why the house is called the See House.

When we photographed the See House, it was the rectory of St. Peter's Church.

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