300 Villages: Hyder

This week, we’re heading to a bird lover’s paradise. It’s the tiny town of Hyder, on the border with Canada in Southeast Alaska. Caroline Steward and Wes Loe live in Hyder, Alaska.

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Stewart: “My name is Caroline Stewart. I am the proprietor of Boundary Gallery and Gifts.”

Loe: “My name is Wes Loe. I am the president of the Hyder Community Association and owner and run Hyder General Store.”

Stewart: “A Hyder is a small town it was ah…it was [originally]  a boom town in the 1920s there were some 10,000 people here and Hyder survived the Crash and the Great Depression ah…unfortunately  um…when World War II broke out…in order the stabilize the economy the Captains capped the gold and silver mines. And the economic basis of Hyder was indeed gold and silver so by wars’ end the population of Hyder dropped to only seventeen people and was put on the roster of Ghost Towns of North America.”

Loe: “It is a very small community it’s a border town right of Canada; actually, just outside of Stewart British Columbia. And ah…the unique thing about Hyder is I think we’re one the only border crossings in the U.S., soon as I say this we are gana get customs, but we don’t have customs here. And we’re one the villages in Alaska we don’t have police and we pretty much govern ourselves.”

Stewart: “We are the most southern most part of Alaska you can drive too. We are…twenty-tree miles to from the fifth largest glacier in North America. We are in a densely populate bear area and we are on the Pacific Northwest migratory flight way so we are indeed a bird watchers paradise.”

Loe “And ah…this time of the year um…the bears are coming out and we have a bear platform that is ah…goes a couple hundred yards along a spawning stream and can you walk out there…and the browns and the blacks and even the wolves…we have wolves that go out there and get the fish.”

Stewart: “There’s ah…trails to hike the Portland Canal is both ah…pleasure and ah…great place to shop. It has Salmon, Halibut, Prawns, Crab all of your bottom fish so a lot fishing.”

Loe “It’s unique. It’s absolutely beautiful and when people come in here, we get a lot people from Europe, and they are in just awe of the glaciers, the animals, the wildlife, the ocean view the river view.”