Seward's welcoming face is rosy
Make a tourist feel all cozy
Like that miner down on Main
Makes you all right glad you came
(And if you wander across that street --
Alaska Nellie's where locals eat)
And out here on the edge of town
You're welcomed again with smile not frown
By the Alaska Flag monument
See more beautification dollars spent.
So come to Seward, enjoy your stay
They've lots to make it worth your way!
Quoting from Ride Guide to the Historic Alaska Railroad by Anita Williams and Linda Ewers ©2003: "Seward is located at the northern end of Resurrection Bay and is tucked into the Kenai Mountains. It is an ice-free port with a relatively mild, and often wet, climate. Winter temperatures average 25F and summer temperatures range between 50F and 60F.
"Seward was first settled by Russians in the late 1700s. It was named for US Secretary of State William H. Seward who was instrumental in the purchase of Alaska from Russian in 1867. In 1902 Seward was chose as the starting point for the Alaska Central Railroad.
…Today Seward, population 2630, is an important port. Commerce includes shipping, fishing, and tourism. By road Seward is 127 miles from Anchorage. It has become a very popular recreation area and center for excursions to the Kenai Fjords National Park. The Alaska Marine Highway sails from Seward to Homer, Kodiak, and Cordova. The annual Silver Salmon Derby, held in August, awards over $100,000 in cash and prizes to anglers. …Notice the shipping docks which also accommodate cruise ships and the coal loading facility. Coal from the mine at Healy (MP 358) is shipped from here to Korea."
Or, the 'official story' from (visit link
Situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities. Known as the 'Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park' Seward is a picturesque town located 126 miles south of Anchorage. Visitors can easily reach us via the Seward Highway Scenic Byway, the Alaska Railroad, or by bus, air, or cruise ship.
"Upon your arrival you will discover our bustling harbor and historic downtown district filled with quaint shops and art galleries.
Experience trophy sport fishing, glacier and wildlife cruises, sailing, hiking, kayaking, flight seeing, summer dog sled rides, and more. Seward is also a winter wonderland offering cross-country skiing and snow machine adventures.
"At 3,022 feet, towering Mt. Marathon provides a breathtaking backdrop for the town. Behind Mt. Marathon and extending down the coast lies the Harding Icefield, measuring 35 by 20 miles.
Flowing from the Harding Icefield are many glaciers, eight of which are tidewater glaciers, calving icebergs into the sea, reaching the coastline between Seward and Homer.
"Voted an All America City in 1963, 1965 and again in 2005, we invite you to visit us any time of year and experience the real Alaska!
"HISTORY OF SEWARD
"The small city of Seward is nestled at the foot of Mount Marathon along the scenic shoreline of Resurrection Bay, a restless, fickle body of water teeming with abundant species of fish and frolicking marine mammals. In 1792 the bay was sighted and named on Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday, by Alexander Baranof, the most famous of Alaska’s early Russian explorer-governors. Against a backdrop of peaks and passes sculpted by Ice Age glaciers, Seward’s ice-free harbor has long served as a natural gateway to the vast scenic and resource riches of Alaska’s huge interior.
"The city of Seward was named for President Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Henry Seward, the man who engineered the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The city was officially founded in 1903 on a long-abandoned Native village site, but the town had already been a Gold Rush encampment for at least a decade. Optimistic prospectors heard tales of a trail that led from Seward to riches-to-be, and on to Cook Inlet. That dogsled trail would indeed lead to the rich strikes at Hope and Sunrise and later to the bonanza at Iditarod, a place name commemorated in today’s Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and on to Nome.
"Then in 1903, a party of railroad men arrived and laid out the present city in a traditional grid of city blocks and wide streets that would be familiar to anyone from similar small railroad towns across America. In the boasting spirit of frontier towns, one of Seward’s streets was named Millionaires Row for the gold barons, another was called Home Brew Alley for obvious reasons. The new railroad that was built to reach Cook Inlet (the city of Anchorage) was called the Alaska Central Railway. It would later become the Anchorage to Seward route of today’s Alaska Railroad...."
As for the SLOGAN...At this site (almost a park), you'll also find a memorial to the Benny Benson, who, in 1927 at the age of 13, submitted the design that became the Alaska State Flag.
"John Ben "Benny" Benson was 13, a 7th grade orphan at a mission school in Seward when he created the flag for the Territory of Alaska in 1927. He entered a contest arranged for children in grades 7 through 12 by Alaska Territorial Governor George Parks. On a visit to the U.S. Post Office building in 1926 he had noticed that, while there were flags for every state displayed, the territory of Alaska had none.
"The rules called for 8½ x 11-inch paper, color or plain ink. Each community formed a panel to select the 10 best entries, which were then forwarded to the final committee in Juneau.
"Benson looked to the sky, choosing the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the North Star for his symbols. He described his choices: "The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaska Flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly of the union. The dipper is for the Great Bear symbolizing strength." His sentiments are echoed in the state song.
"Benny actually drew more than one entry. One had a dogsled and two huskies on a bright green backdrop. A second was a massive mountain rising in front of a yellow sun. And the one that won, had the number 1867 under the Big Dipper on a royal blue background.
Benny Benson was born in Chignik in 1913, part Russian-Aleut and part Swedish. His father put him in an orphanage, the Jesse Lee Home in Unalaska, at the age of 3 when his mother died. The home moved from Unalaska to Seward in 1925.
"Benson learned about his win in March 1927. “One day our teacher’s husband came in the room and he brought a telegram,” Benson recalled in 1971. “She just looked at it and her mouth dropped open. She was speechless. … And I darned near fell out of my seat, I guess.”
The only change that was made in his design was the removal of the “1867.” His design was favored over about 700 entries from schoolchildren around the state. Many of the other entries had variations on polar bears, gold pans, the state seal, the midnight sun, or northern lights. Until his flag was chosen, Alaskans had flown only the U.S. flag since the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867. The Territory of Alaska became a state in 1959.
Benson spent most of his adult life in Kodiak, where he worked for Kodiak Airways. He had two daughters and several stepchildren and grandchildren. In later years, Benson sewed custom, autographed Alaska flags for legislators, dignitaries and each Miss Alaska. He later said that his greatest thrill was the standing ovation he received at the Alaska constitutional convention. He died of a heart attack on July 2, 1972., at the age of 58.
"For his feat, Benson won a gold watch with his design engraved on the back and $1,000 that he later used for diesel-engine repair school. The watch he donated to the Alaska State Museum in 1963. The original flag, made of blue silk and appliquéd gold stars, was first flown July 9, 1927.
"If you visit Seward, you can find the Benny Benson Memorial [AND THIS WELCOME SIGN] at Mile 1.4 of the Seward Highway."
This sign, located at the edge of town, across the Seward Highway from the small boat harbor, anchors the inland entrance to the boardwalk along Seward Lagoon. The lagoon is very scenic, and has many signs detailing history, plants, and critters of the Seward Area. A great spot to linger!!!