Historic totem poles from the 19th century are preserved and exhibited at Ketchikan’s Totem Heritage Center.
The tall totems were collected from abandoned Tlingit and Haida villages in the region. Other Alaskan displays such as masks, photographs and artwork are also exhibited at the center, which hosts programs and classes to promote and safeguard traditional arts and crafts.
The century-old totems are poignantly weathered, their paint faded and patchy. Tours help fill in the stories behind the various carvings of animals and symbols.
The Totem Heritage Center is a few streets east of downtown Ketchikan.