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The Sheldon Jackson Museum is one of Alaska's favorite tourist destinations. Located in the city of Sitka, the museum is known to be the oldest in Alaska. The museum's current location is also the first concrete building in the state. The museum?s small yet cozy octagonal structure never fails to give visitors a magical, meaningful walk through Alaska?s history. The Sheldon Jackson Museum houses over 5,000 pieces of artwork and artifacts from native Alaska.

Most of these artifacts were collected by Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian missionary and the museum's founder. He also served as a General Agent for Education in Alaska. Every year, Jackson traveled around Alaska, collecting various artifacts. Soon, these artifacts increased in number and gave way to the creation of the museum. The construction of the museum began in 1895 and ended in 1897. In 1972, the Sheldon Jackson Museum was included in the National Historical Register. Since 1985, a nonprofit organization called the Friends of Sheldon Museum helps the museum through money grants and volunteers. This organization is also responsible for bringing in new artifacts and having artists demonstrate their work to the public during summer.

The museum now houses pieces from all of Alaska's native groups. The variety of exhibits includes hand woven baskets from different tribes and cultures such as the Athabaskans, Eskimos, Tlingits and Aleuts. Eskimo masks, Alaskan traditional ornamental clothing, real totem poles, and carved rock sculptures are among the many artifacts in the museum. Other exhibits such as baidarka (or sea kayaks), handmade jewelry and children's toys are also featured in the museum. The museum features a different artifact every month. Native artists showcase their talent every summer, which usually includes totem carving, basket making and weaving, ivory and silver carving and mask making. These exhibits make the museum a window to Alaska's history and culture.
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