Kenai, Alaska

Kenai, Alaska

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Kenai, Alaska
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Kenai, Alaska

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

pushpin_label_position = left
pushpin_mapsize = 300
pushpin_map_caption =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Alaska
subdivision_type2 = Borough
subdivision_name2 = Kenai Peninsula
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 92.0
area_land_km2 = 77.4
area_water_km2 = 14.6
area_total_sq_mi = 35.5
area_land_sq_mi = 29.9
area_water_sq_mi = 5.6

population_as_of = 2007
population_footnotes =cite web|url=|title=Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Alaska|publisher=United States Census Bureau|date=2008-07-10|accessdate=2008-07-14]
population_total = 7686
population_density_km2 = 89.7
population_density_sq_mi = 232.2

timezone = Alaska (AKST)
utc_offset = -9
timezone_DST = AKDT
utc_offset_DST = -8
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 22
elevation_ft = 72
latd = 60 |latm = 33 |lats = 31 |latNS = N
longd = 151 |longm = 13 |longs = 47 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 99611, 99635
area_code = 907
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 02-38420
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = [Gnis3|1413299 1413299]
website =
footnotes =

Kenai (IPAEng|ˈkinaɪ) is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 7,464.cite web | date = June 21 2006 | url = | title = Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places in Alaska | format = CSV | work = 2005 Population Estimates | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division | accessmonthday = November 9 | accessyear = 2006]


Kenai (pronounced kee-nahy) is located at coor dms|60|33|31|N|151|13|47|W|city (60.558738, -151.229616)GR|1.

Kenai is located on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula near the outlet of the Kenai River to the Cook Inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.5 square miles (92.0 km²), of which, 29.9 square miles (77.4 km²) of it is land and 5.6 square miles (14.6 km²) of it (15.85%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 6,942 people, 2,622 households, and 1,788 families residing in the city. The population density was 232.2 people per square mile (89.6/km²). There were 3,003 housing units at an average density of 100.4/sq mi (38.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.76% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 8.74% Native American, 1.66% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.12% from other races, and 5.00% from two or more races. 3.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,622 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,962, and the median income for a family was $56,856. Males had a median income of $48,371 versus $27,112 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,789. About 8.2% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.5% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.


"Kenai" is named after the Kenai Peninsula. The name "Kenai" is probably derived from "Kenayskaya", the Russian name for the Cook Inlet and translates to "flat, barren land". Or, it could refer to the Inuit word "kenai" (black bear). It may also be named after the Kenaitze Indian tribe, who were the original inhabitants.cite video | people = David Lickley | year = 2001 | title = Bears (Large Format) | url = | medium = DVD | location = various | publisher = National Wildlife Federation]

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D.

Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called "Shk'ituk't", which means "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze," or "Kenai people."

In 1791, a Russian trading post, Fort St. Nicholas, was constructed in the middle of the village for the purposes of fur and fish trading. It was the second permanent Russian settlement in Alaska.

Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797 when what is dubbed the battle of Kenai, an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, resulting in over one hundred deaths from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.

In 1869, after the Alaska Purchase the United States Army established a post called Fort Kenay. It was soon abandoned.

In 1888 a prospector named Alexander King discovered gold on the Kenai Peninsula. The amount of gold was small compared to the later gold finds in the Klondike, Nome and Fairbanks.

In 1894, the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church was built in the village. It is still in use today.

The establishment of shipping companies in the early 1900s broadened Kenai into a port city. Canning companies were established and helped fuel the commercial fishing boom that was the primary activity through the 1920s. In 1937, construction of the Kenai Airport began.

In 1940, homesteads were opened in the area. The first dirt road from Anchorage was constructed in 1951; pavement would not arrive until 1956 with the construction of the Kenai Spur highway.

A military base, Wildwood Army Station (later Wildwood Air Force Station), was established in 1953 and served as a major communications post. Wildwood was conveyed in 1974 to the Kenai Native Association in partial settlement of Alaska Native land claims. The facility was leased and later purchased by the State of Alaska and presently serves as the Wildwood Correctional Complex. [Welker, Randy S. (1993-07-09). [ "Department of Corrections: Wildwood Correctional Center Acquisition".] [ Alaska Division of Legislative Audit] . Audit control no. 20-4471-93. Retrieved on 2007-03-12.] [Alaska Department of Corrections. [ Wildwood Correctional Complex] (official site). Retrieved on 2007-03-12.]

In 1957, oil was discovered at Swanson River, 20 miles northeast of Kenai. This was the first major oil discovery in Alaska. In 1965, offshore oil discoveries in Cook Inlet caused a period of rapid growth.

ee also

* Coral Seymour Ballpark
* Brother Bear and Brother Bear 2, a two-part series of Disney animated films, center on an Inuit man named Kenai, who is turned into a bear
* "Peninsula Clarion", a regional paper published in Kenai
* "36 Crazyfists", an Alaskan based metal band who originate from Kenai and have a song named after Kenai.


External links

* [ Kenai Government Website]

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