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Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Current and Upcoming Exhibits

Satellite Exhibit: Ordinary Things/Extraordinary Tales

Exhibit runs through Saturday, May 28, 2016

Military Surplus Hand Cranked GN58 Field Generator, 1945, Donated by the Juneau Icefield Research Project, JDCM 2003. 39.010

The past two winters, the City Museum has displayed an exhibit we called Ordinary Things/Extraordinary Tales. In these exhibits, members of the community were invited into Museum storage to pick an object they’d like to write a response to or story about. Three past writing/object pairs from the Ordinary Things exhibits have been selected to be displayed in the case located in the lobby of the Douglas Library. The particular selections were chosen because of their writers affiliation with Douglas Island. The Ordinary Things/Extraordinary Tales—Douglas Edition will be on display at the Douglas Library from October 2015 through May 2016, featuring the artifact selected by and written about by Emily Wall, Ross Soboleff and Genevieve Gagne-Hawes.

Disasters At Home: Photographs from the City Museum Collection

Exhibit runs through Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gold Creek Flooding, 1918, JDCM 2005.38.006

In conjunction with Communities, Disaster and Change which is on display during the month of November (see below), the Museum's video and map case galleries feature historical photographs documenting 11 homegrown disasters - fires, land and snow slides, and floods - spanning the years 1911 when the Juneau Hotel burned to the 2006 fire at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. Each photograph is paired with historical text and a word cloud generated from newspaper articles from the day. The exhibit opens Friday, October 2nd, with a First Friday reception from 4:30 to 7:00 pm and will be on view for a full year, through November 26, 2016.

Satellite Exhibit: The Empty Chair and World War II in Juneau

Exhibit runs through Saturday, May 28, 2016

John Tanaka Panel from the Empty Chair exhibit, JDCM EDU 0504.

A smaller version of our 2014 summer exhibit: The Empty Chair: The Forced Removal and Resettlement of Juneau’s Japanese Community, 1941-1951 will be installed at the NEW Mendenhall Library at Dimond Park. We’ve taken five of the exhibit panels from the original exhibit telling the history of World War II in Juneau, the history of the Minidoka Internment Camp in Idaho and the story of the Empty Chair. These panels are accompanied by World War II era items from the City Museum’s permanent collection, including an Army canteen and a travel permit. And, of course, the Empty Chair Memorial is permanently installed at Capital School Park downtown and is well worth a visit when in the area. Also, copies of Greg Chaney’s documentary The Empty Chair are available for sale in the Museum’s gift shop. The Empty Chair—Valley Edition can be viewed as soon as the Valley Library opens on October 5th, and will be on display through May, 2016.

Communities, Disaster, and Change

Exhibit Opens Friday, November 6, 2015

Artwork by Marjorie Scholl, 2013, Tsunami: Headed Towards the Back Side of a Wave.

This traveling exhibition, coordinated by the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive, is framed by the 50-year anniversary of the devastating Good Friday Earthquake that struck Alaska on March 27, 1964. The exhibit features 28 of Alaska’s finest artists from around the state whose pieces address the theme of natural disasters’ effects on their communities. For a list of exhibiting artists visit To read or post to a blog that is hosted by the Valdez Museum as an accompaniment to the exhibit, go to The exhibit in Juneau opens with a reception on Friday, November 6, from 4:30 to 7 pm and will be on view through November 28, 2015.

Permanent Exhibits

Drilling & Milling: Hands-on Mining

Brass-in and put on your hard hat and come explore Juneau's early mining history and mining practices in our interactive Museum environment. The room includes an interactive stamp mill; a model of Treadwell with sliding panels depicting the infamous cave-in in 1917; a weights and measures station with activity sheets; and a mineral i.d. station. Our interactive stamp mill was produced courtesy of Greenscreek Mining Company.

In Our Video Room: Juneau, City Built on Gold

"Lights of Juneau", 1931, Fred Ordway, JDCM 2000.16.001

Created by museum staff, volunteers and community members, this 26-minute documentary plays in our video room year-round, highlighting local history, culture, and heritage. It begins with an introduction to Native Alaskan (Tlingit) life in the Juneau area and follows the city's development and history through the gold rush days and the fight for Alaska's statehood.

Learn about Juneau's History of Hydropower

Juneau's combination of precipitation and lots of elevation makes Juneau an ideal location for hydro (water) power. Hydropower harnesses the force or energy of moving water and converts this kinetic (moving) energy into mechanical (machine) energy. Built in 1914, the Salmon Creek Dam was the first constant angle arch design dam in the world. This unique design reduced construction costs by 20%, because it required 25% less concrete to build. Visit the museum to generate power, Juneau style. Our hydropower interactive was produced courtesy of AEL&P.

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Montana Creek Fish Trap & Replica

This 500-700 year old Native fish trap is the first basketry-style fish trap to be discovered in an archaeological context on the Northwest Coast. Suspended above the original fish trap is a full scale replica built in 2006 with the support from Sealaska Corporation, a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and a Grant-In-Aid from the Alaska State Museum. This exhibit project was awarded The American Association of State and Local History 2008 Merit and WOW award. The exhibit also features a hands-on fish trap model, footage from the 1991 excavation of the fish trap, courtesy of Greg Chaney, and the Montana Creek Fish Trap brochure.

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Outdoor Recreation: Skiing & the Dan Moller Cabin

A Charter member of the Juneau Ski Club, Dan Moller came to Juneau 1934 as the general Emergency Conservation Work foreman for the US Forest Service. He was in charge of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work crews that constructed the trail to Second Meadow, the site of the 1st ski area in Juneau and the original cabin that later bore his name. The cabin was determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the Civilian Conservation Corps, for its role in development of the growth of recreation and skiing, and its long association with the Juneau Ski Club. Following the USFS's assessment of the cabin, they approached the City Museum to help interpret this important part of Juneau history since the cabin could not be saved.

Politics, Personalities & Power

View digital stories about the Quest for Statehood and Alaska's Capital on either of these interactive kiosks located in our Politics, Personalities and Power gallery. As the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, it seems only fitting to have an exhibit dedicated to Juneau as Alaska's Capital City. The exhibit features a detailed timeline of events that shaped our capital, artifacts from capital move campaigns and interactive touch-screens that feature a number of historical and cultural topics including: The Quest for Statehood, Elizabeth Peratrovich and Civil Rights, Alaska's Government and Cultures of Juneau. The Museum's digital stories project received the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History in September 2011.

U.S. Bureau of Mines: Assay Lab

Bureau of Mines Assay Lab. JDCM 2006.06.040G.

This exhibition is a diorama of the fire assay lab that operated on Mayflower Island from the early 1950s until 1996. Check out the recently added display panels explaning the assaying process used by the US Bureau of Mines to determine the content of gold in rock samples collected throughout the state.