population 3,237, on W coast of Baranof I., 95 mi. SW of Juneau, Alex. Arch.
After the destruction in 1802 of "Fort Archangle Gabriel" (see Old Sitka), a new Russian settlement was established in 1804 several miles from the old fort under the direction of A. A. Baranov. This new settlement, built around a fortification on Castle Hill, was named "Mikhailovsk" or Novo Arkhangelsk," meaning "New Archangel," for Saint Michael Archangel. This became the headquarters of the Russian American Company and capital of Russian America. When Russian America was purchased by the United States the town was named Sitka, a Tlingit Indian name, said to mean "by the sea" or "on Shi", the native name for Baranof Island. Sitka was the capital of Alaska until 1900 when territorial administration was transferred to Juneau. the population of the town was 968 in 1867; 1,039 in 1910; 1,175 in 1920; 1,05 6 in 1930; 1,987 in 1939; and 1,985 in 1950. The Sitka post office was established in 1867. A proposal to change the name Sitka to Port Alexander was submitted in June 1977; the proposal was withdrawn by the Board on 14 September 1978, because the docket description was not correct; the two entities, Sitka and Port Alexander, are two separate and distinct communities.