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Hollis was originally established in the late 1890's as a mining town. It was named after a safe harbor, Hollis Anchorage, which was nearby. The name was first reported in 1904 by H. C. Fassett of the United States Bureau of Fisheries. A post office was established in 1901 and discontinued in 1942. During this time Hollis had a population of about 1000. Gold and silver were the target ores and mining was strong in the early 1900's and continued until logging become the economic leader in the area. If you take a walk along many of the streams and rivers in Hollis or along some of the ridges you will see leftover evidence of the mining history. The photo show an dam built for the mining industry on the Harris River. (photo courtesy of Jared Fithian)
In the 1950's the logging industry came to Hollis when Ketchikan Pulp Company (KPU) established a camp in Hollis. The camp was mostly on floats and land located where the school and dock are now and a great deal of old equipment from barges to cable to stumps with spring board cuts in them can be found nearly every where a person looks. The area was logged until the early 1960's when KPU moved the camp to Thorne Bay. Recently, parts of the Hollis area are once again part of the timber industry.
After KPU moved its base of operation, the population of Hollis dwindled. Sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's a road was constructed between the old logging camp, now called Hollis, and other island towns. The Alaska Marine Highway made use of the old barge ramp left from the logging days and the original "Blue Canoe", the MV Chilkat, began ferry service between Prince of Wales and Ketchikan. The population of Hollis began to grow and in the early 1980's a new dock and ramp were constructed at Clark Bay. Through state land sales, more and more people made Hollis home. At the same time the Klawock-Hollis Highway was paved and in 2002 the Alaska Marine Highway ceased service to Hollis and was replaced by the Inter -Island Ferry Authority (IFA) operating the MV Prince of Wales and the MV Stikine.
Today, Hollis is a vibrant community with a school, library, and many wonderful community events. It is also a great place to view wildlife, hike, forage, or just relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The current economic base of the Hollis area includes the IFA, the Dawson Mine operated by the Sundance Mining Group, and several smaller local businesses including mills, land development, cleaning services, and several Bed and Breakfast type establishments. Hollis has something for everyone and is a wonderful place to live and enjoy.
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