The Anchor Inn is the heart of Whittier, Alaska

Dating back to 1980, the Anchor Inn has been a family owned establishment. The Anchor Inn boasts a three level building, complete with a restaurant, laundromat, lodging, public telephones, and nighttime entertainment (The Overview Lounge). Photo by David Taylor

By David Taylor

On our recent trip to Alaska we had to make sure we made a stop at the Anchor Inn located in downtown Whittier. It is located in the heart of of the town. It’s a social hub for the community with people gathering there for family occasions, after work gatherings, and most definitely for great food.

Bev had the fresh caught salmon, and I had the Anchor Inn World Class Hamburger. I would recommend both as a great dinner choices.

Bev said the fresh caught salmon was fantastic. The world class hamburger was very tasty.

The atmosphere and service were both top notch. The Anchor Inn’s Restaurant is a cozy place to eat if you want to get a feel for the town.

Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the Anchor Inn offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stopping in, you may find fisherman, locals or visitors from out of town stopping for a bite to eat most any time of the day.

According to the Anchor Inn website, the town of Whittier is nestled in a valley where the beautiful Passage Canal ends at the glacier-covered Chugach Mountains. Originally a military base, boasting protective mountains and the world’s most northerly deep water ice-free port, Whittier has become one of the most easily accessible small towns in Alaska. Before the one lane tunnel was built connecting Whittier to Anchorage and the Kenai, Whittier was only accessible to modern travelers by boat or plane.

A quick history of Whittier as told from the military uses of the area. Photo by David Taylor

The community has its modern origins, according to Wikipedia, beginning in World War II, when the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad, near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943, and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.[10]Begich Towers

The two buildings that dominate the town were built after World War II. The 14-story Hodge Building (renamed Begich Towers) was completed in 1957 and contains 150 two-and-three-bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units. Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this high-rise. The Whittier School was connected by a tunnel at the base of the west tower so students could safely access school on days with bad weather. The building was named in honor of Colonel Walter William Hodge, who was a civil engineer and the commanding officer of 93rd Engineer Regiment on the Alcan Highway.[11]

The other main structure in town, the Buckner Building, was completed in 1953, and was called the “city under one roof”. The Buckner Building was eventually abandoned. Buckner and Begich Towers were at one time the largest buildings in Alaska. The Begich Towers building became a condominium, and along with the two-story private residence known as Whittier Manor, houses a majority of the town’s residents.[12]

The port at Whittier was an active Army facility until 1960. In 1962, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed a petroleum products terminal, a pumping station and a 62-mile-long (100 km), 8-inch (200 mm) pipeline to Anchorage in Whittier.[13][14]

As with all our stops in Alaska, we loved Whittier. The history, the community, the natural beauty all go hand in hand to make for one great experience.

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