More Shakes Island photos and updates on Facebook

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First of the giant Cedars leave Carving Shed for Shakes Island

A muggy Tuesday morning in Wrangell saw the first batch of freshly adzed Cedar leave the confines of the Carving Shed for Shakes Island.  Here are a few pics of the process.

Carvers joined the renovation crew to assist with the transport, which includes toting the up to 27' Cedars across 300' worth of bridge.  Just like they did it during the 1940 restoration, dollies help usher the beams and posts across.

After resting under tarps for months, the totems were recently uncovered to breathe.  Laying next to the totems are sill beams, the longest being the aforementioned 27 footer.  These beams are pocketed, and the groves will hold panels of Cedar that can be slid in and out of place.  Many of these panels were preserved during deconstruction of the Tribal House and will be re-used.

Here sits one of the corner posts, in front of the Southwest corner of the Tribal House waiting to be raised.  This beast of a log was one of the prizes of the Sealaska log donation, and after some artful adzing by carver Justin Smith, it should go a long ways to make sure the house is standing for another 100 years.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

M.J. Murdock Trust Awards $222,000 Grant to Chief Shakes Tribal House Restoration

The Tribal House restoration on Chief Shakes Island in Wrangell was awarded another grant
last week, with the latest $222,000 award from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust inching the
project towards full funding.

After submitting and revising the grant multiple times beginning in 2009, WCA received notice
on May 24 that the grant had been approved. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust put no
restrictions on the grant distribution, and with the paperwork now officially signed, the entire
$222,000 will be paid out to the WCA at once.

“We extend our congratulations on your receipt of this grant,” said Steven Moore, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Executive Director. “We wish you significant and satisfying progress as you seek to strengthen and implement the ideals and mission of the Wrangell Cooperative Association.”

WCA’s Tis Peterman was pleased to hear the funds will arrive at once, and not be piece-mailed to the project. Peterman stated that “Murdock Charitable was very cognizant that we are aiming to get the building renovated this year and wanted to ensure we had all of their funding as we need it.”

“The funding is very close, if not fully-funded” added Peterman. “It will be dependent on the
costs of the materials needed to reassemble the building. The expense of getting the planks from
Prince of Wales Island was more than originally projected.”

Work continues on the Tribal House. Recently, Master Carver Steve Brown recently arrived
from Seattle to assess the project, and under advice from Brown, Project Manager Todd White
and his team are working to reassemble the National Historic Site.

Volunteers still needed for 2013 Shakes Island re-dedication, contact the WCA office

With Tribal House restoration on schedule, Wrangell Cooperative Association is looking for volunteers to help with the re-dedication ceremony, which will take place in May, 2013.  The WCA is in search of committee members and volunteers from all communities to help celebrate the re-opening of our National Historic Site.  If you can help organize housing, transportation, food, advertising, fund raising, dancing, gift giving or assist in any other fashion, please contact the WCA via phone (907.874.4304), email us at, or stop by the office in downtown Wrangell.  Thank you.