About This Place
The City and Borough of Sitka, originally called New Archangel (Russian: "Новоaрхангельск" or "Ново-Архангельск"; transliterated: "Novoarkangelsk" or "Novo-Arkangelsk") under Russian Rule, is a unified city-borough located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated population of 8,986 in 2005, Sitka is the fourth-largest city by population in Alaska. Urban Sitka (Downtown) 57°03′5.62″N 135°20′19.11″W / 57.0515611°N 135.3386417°W / 57.0515611; -135.3386417, the part that is usually thought of as the "city" of Sitka, is situated on the west side of Baranof Island.
The current name "Sitka" (derived from Sheet’ká, a contraction of the Tlingit name Shee At'iká) means "People on the Outside of Shee", Sheet’-ká X'áat'l (often expressed simply as Shee) being the Tlingit name for Baranof Island.
Sitka was originally settled by the native Tlingit people. Old Sitka was founded in 1799 by Alexandr Baranov, the governor of Russian America. Baranov arrived under the auspices of the Russian-American Company, a "semi-official" colonial trading company chartered by Tsar Paul I.