Seward is situated on Resurrection Bay on
the southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, 125 highway miles south of
Anchorage. It lies at the foot of Mount Marathon, and is the gateway to
the Kenai Fjords National Park. It lies at approximately 60░ 07' N
Latitude, 149░ 26' W Longitude (Sec. 10, T001S, R001W, Seward Meridian).
The community is located in the Seward Recording District. The area
encompasses 15 sq. miles of land and 7 sq. miles of water.
Bay was named in 1792 by Russian fur trader and explorer Alexander
Baranof. While sailing from Kodiak to Yakutat, he found unexpected
shelter in this bay for a storm. He named the Bay Resurrection because
it was the Russian Sunday of the Resurrection. The City of Seward was
named for U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, 1861-69, who
negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia during the Lincoln
administration. In the 1890s, Capt. Frank Lowell arrived with his
family. In 1903, John and Frank Ballaine and a group of settlers arrived
to begin construction of a railroad. Seward became an incorporated City
in 1912. The Alaska Railroad was constructed between 1915 and 1923, and
Seward developed as the ocean terminus and supply center. By 1960,
Seward was the largest community on the Peninsula. Tsunamis generated
after the 1964 earthquake destroyed the railroad terminal and killed
several residents. As an ice-free harbor, Seward has become an important
supply center for Interior Alaska.