Historic Walking Tour

Van Gilder Hotel


The Van Gilder Hotel was originally built in 1916 by E. L. Van Gilder as a modern office building. The quality construction cost more than budgeted and caused Mr. Van Gilder major financial trouble. Open to the public for interior tours including a photo history of Seward by Dr. Elizabeth Tower

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church


St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving Protestant church building on the Kenai Peninsula. The basement was built in 1904 and the first religious service was held in February 1905. – Not open to the public.

The Seward Depot


The Seward Depot of the Alaska Railroad was constructed in 1917 at the location now known as Adams and Ballaine. It was moved to its present location in 1928 after a damaging flood down Jefferson Street. – Not open to the public.

Brown & Hawkins


Brown & Hawkins was the oldest continually operated business in Seward and the oldest store under the same ownership in Alaska. Charles E. Brown and W. T. Hawkins came to Seward in 1903 and started the Brown & Hawkins Company to serve as bankers and merchants for the building of the Alaska Central Railroad. – Open to the public.

Government Cable Office


The Government Cable Office was constructed in 1905 as part of the Alaska Military Cable & Telegraph System. A telegraph system was installed in Valdez first; then, in the summer of 1905 a submarine cable was laid between Valdez and Seward to connect the new town with Seattle and the rest of the United States. – Not open to the public.

Swetmann House


The Swetmann House was originally built in 1916 on the steeply graded site against Mt. Marathon near Dairy Hill. It was later sold to Elwn Swetmann and moved to its present location on 5th Avenue.

Private residence – Not open to the public.

Ballaine House


The Ballaine House was built in 1905 by Frank Ballaine, brother of John Ballaine, the founding father of Seward. – Open to guests of the B & B.