The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix Log 

City council votes to back Wilderness celebration plans


The City of Seward threw its support behind growing efforts to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rockwell Kent’s publication “Wilderness” at its recent council meeting. The council voted unanimously to approve a resolution showing the city’s approval of an event marking the event.

As part of its support, the council members indicated they would lend the city’s support to any grant applications furthering the promotion, as well as encourage other organizations such as the Seward Chamber of Commerce, the Resurrection Bay Historical Society, the Seward Arts Council and others to join in the effort to recognize Kent’s contribution to the area.

Kent and his 9-year-old son arrived in Seward in August 1918 and settled on Fox Island on a fox farm that was financed by Thomas Brown of Brown and Hawkins. During his stay, he painted scenes of Resurrection Bay and became noted for his work depicting what would later become Kenai Fjords National Park. After leaving Alaska in March 1919, he traveled to Vermont and finished his paintings and turned his letters and journals into the book Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska. The book was published in 1920.

Wilderness is listed in The Alaska 67: A Guide to Alaska’s Best History Books, published in 2006 by Hardscratch Press for the Alaska Historical Society.

Local historian Doug Capra, who wrote the foreward to the 1996 edition of Wilderness will be publishing a book called “The Infinite and Unfathomable Thing: Rockwell Kent’s Alaska Wilderness in 2020, which will be the 100th anniversary of the publication of Kent’s book.


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