Hyder, Alaska

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Hyder, Alaska
CDP
The border between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, as seen from the Canadian side.
The border between Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, as seen from the Canadian side.
Location of Hyder, Alaska.
Location of Hyder, Alaska.
Coordinates: 55°54′51″N 130°01′28″W / 55.91417°N 130.02444°W / 55.91417; -130.02444
HYDER ALASKA Latitude and Longitude:

55°54′51″N 130°01′28″W / 55.91417°N 130.02444°W / 55.91417; -130.02444
Country United States
State Alaska
Census area Prince of Wales-Hyder
Government
 •  State senator Bert Stedman ( R)
 •  State rep. Dan Ortiz ( I)
Area
 • Total 14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2)
 • Land 14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 118 ft (36 m)
Population ( 2010)
 • Total 87
 • Density 5.9/sq mi (2.3/km2)
Time zone Official time: Alaska (AKST) [1]
  Unofficial time: PST [2]
 • Summer ( DST) Official time: AKDT [1]
  Unofficial time: PDT [2] ( UTC)
ZIP Code 99923
Area code(s) 236, 250, 778
FIPS code 02-34570
GNIS feature ID 1422711

Hyder is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 87 at the 2010 census. [4] Hyder is accessible by road, and is popular with motorists wishing to visit Alaska without having to drive the length of the Alaska Highway. Hyder is both Alaska's southernmost and easternmost town. [3] There are no American border controls at the Hyder - Stewart Border Crossing. [5]

Geography

Hyder is located at 55°56′29″N 130°3′16″W / 55.94139°N 130.05444°W / 55.94139; -130.05444 (55.941442, -130.054504), [6] at the head of the Portland Canal, a 130-mile (210 km) long fjord which forms a portion of the border between the U.S. and Canada at the southeastern edge of the Alaska Panhandle. It sits about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Stewart, British Columbia by road, and 75 miles (121 km) from Ketchikan by air.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38 km2), all land.

Demographics

As of the census [7] of 2000, there were 97 people, 47 households, and 25 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 6.5 people per square mile (2.5/km²). There were 72 housing units at an average density of 4.9 per square mile (1.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 93 White, and 4 from two or more races. There was 1 Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47 households out of which 9 had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24 were married couples living together, 1 had a female householder with no husband present, and 21 were non-families. 19 of all households were made up of individuals and 3 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 18 under 18, 11 from 18 to 24, 16 from 25 to 44, 45 from 45 to 64, and 7 who were 65 or older. The median age was 46 years. There were 44 females and 53 males, of them 34 females were age 18 and over, as were 45 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $11,719, and the median income for a family was $30,500. Males had a median income of $56,250 versus $13,750 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $11,491. There were 44.4% of families and 54.1% of the population living below the poverty line, including 81.0% under 18, and 50.0% over 64.

Transportation

Salmon Glacier in British Columbia, a popular tourist destination can only be reached via Hyder.

Stewart, British Columbia immediately borders Hyder and is accessible by road via International Street. Outside of the town site, NFD-88 heads in a northerly direction winding through the Tongass National Forest, and enters the outer extent of Stewart's municipal limits continuing as Granduc Road. There are few local roads, and no roads connect Hyder to any other Alaskan communities. The AMHS ferry that once connected Hyder to Ketchikan stopped running in the 1990s, leaving the Taquan Air floatplane that arrives twice a week with U.S. Mail at Hyder Seaplane Base as the only public transportation between Hyder and the rest of Alaska. [8] [9]

Local services

Fish Creek is a popular bear watching destination, especially during the salmon run.

There are few local services in town:

  • US Postal Service
  • US Forest Service Info Kiosk
  • Camp Run-A-Muck
  • Hyder Community Association – home to museum, information center, library
  • This N That Shop
  • Sealaska Inn
  • Boundary Gift store

Public utilities

Hyder's public utilities are imported from Canada. [4] Electricity is maintained by a subsidiary of BC Hydro, the Tongass Power and Light Company as part of a long-term contract [10] with the town. While most of Alaska is in area code 907, Hyder shares the Stewart 749 exchange in area code 236, 636 in area code 250, and 794 in area code 778. [11] Telus operates the network allowing local calls from Hyder to be placed to Stewart, while the Alaska Telephone Company handles billing and customer service.[ citation needed]

Public safety

Alaska State Troopers patrol the town, but are not located in town. There is a small volunteer EMS team in Hyder, [12] but there are no fire services in town. During an Independence Day fireworks display, the organizers accidentally burned down their fire hall with the fire engine inside. [13] When required, they are provided from across the border by nearby Stewart:

  • British Columbia Ambulance Service – limited local service or from remote stations outside of Stewart
  • District of Stewart Fire & Emergency Services Department – volunteer fire services

A Canada Border Services Agency customs post is located 100 yards from the town and used by all visitors and residents as it provides the only road connecting out of Hyder.

History

Grizzly Bear at Fish Creek

The Nisga'a, who lived around the Nass River, called the head of Portland Canal "Skam-A-Kounst," meaning safe place, probably because it served them as a retreat from the harassment of the Haidas on the coast. [14] They traveled in the area seasonally to pick berries and hunt birds.

The area around the Portland Canal was explored in 1896 by Captain D.D. Gaillard of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [14]

In 1898, gold and silver lodes were discovered in the region, mainly on the Canadian side, in the upper Salmon River basin. The Stewart brothers, for whom the British Columbia town was named, arrived in 1902.

Hyder was established in 1907 as Portland City, after the canal. [3] In 1914, when the US Post Office Department told residents that there were many U.S. communities named Portland, it was renamed Hyder, after Frederick Hyder, a Canadian mining engineer who envisioned a bright future for the area. Hyder was the only practical point of access to the silver mines in Canada; the community became the port, supply point, and post office for miners by 1917. Hyder's boom years were the 1920s, when the Riverside Mine on the U.S. side extracted gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten. The mine operated from 1924 to 1950.

In 1928, the abandoned part of Hyder, which was built on pilings, was destroyed by fire. [14] By 1956 all significant mining had ceased, except for the Granduc Mine on the Canadian side, which operated until 1984 and 2010 to present. [15] Westmin Resources Ltd operated a gold and silver mine on the Canadian side in Premier, British Columbia but is not currently active. [16]

Destination Hyder

Hyder is accessible by highway from Stewart, which connects with the British Columbia highway system and claims 100,000 tourists annually. [17] Hyder is also the location of the annual Hyder Seek gathering of long-distance motorcyclists who travel from all over North America each Memorial Day weekend. Hyder became popular with long distance motorcycle riders in 1998 when author Ron Ayres set a record of riding to the contiguous 48 states in six days. Ayres went on to add to the 48 state record by continuing on to Hyder, Alaska to establish a new 49-state record of 7 days, 0 hours and 20 minutes. Ayres named the new long distance ride the "48 Plus" and the 49-state ride has become popular with members of the long distance motorcycle riding Iron Butt Association. [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

Local notoriety

Hyder has some notoriety as the place where people become "Hyderized." [24] [25] Two of the town's bars issue certifications to patrons of being "Hyderized" if the patron consumes a shot of 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) Everclear.

Canadian and British Columbian influence on culture

Hyder is notable for being the only place in Alaska not to use the 907 area code, instead using British Columbia's 250. Residents in Hyder unofficially use the Pacific Time Zone (Alaska officially uses the Alaska Time Zone [UTC−9].), both American and Canadian currency are accepted (except the U.S. Post Office, which accepts only American currency), and observes American and Canadian holidays. Hyder and Stewart share a mutual international Chamber of Commerce. [26]


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