The Japonski Island Boathouse (Photo courtesy of Laura Bennett)

The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society is a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching and preserving Sitka’s long maritime history. One of their biggest undertakings in this mission is the restoration of the Japonski Island Boathouse.

The boathouse was set to be demolished by the State of Alaska in 2005 but was leased to SMHS instead. Since then, SMHS has worked to bring new life to the historic structure. Executive director Laura Bennett and treasurer Joe D’Arienzo spoke about the community effort and fundraisers that enable the building’s preservation on this Morning Interview.

Bennett is new in her role at SMHS. Sitkans will have an opportunity to speak with her at a Meet & Greet hosted by Baranof Island Brewing Company, Monday April 29 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The event is followed shortly by a presentation of the late 18th century Columbia expeditions to the Pacific Northwest, presented by Brinnen Carter.

Correction (April 29, 2019, 2:45 p.m.) – An earlier version of this article misstated that the City and Burough of Sitka was set to demolish the Japonski Island Boathouse. In actuality, it was to be demolished by the State of Alaska.