Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial: History and Heritage

The Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial Park is a poignant tribute to the brave souls who have ventured into the tumultuous waters of the North Pacific. Situated on the charming Sing Lee Alley, this quaint park seamlessly weaves elements of history, art, and community spirit, making it a cherished landmark among locals and visitors alike.

At the very heart of the park, a striking nine-foot bronze sculpture commands the attention of all who pass by. This magnificent piece of art immortalizes the memory of a local legend, Bojer Wikan, and his gallant crew members who tragically lost their lives at sea. As visitors gaze upon this stirring sculpture, they are transported into the world of resilience, determination, and the unyielding spirit that characterizes those who dare to navigate the dangerous waters of Alaska’s rugged coastline.

Adjacent to the bronze tribute stands the Valhalla, a majestic life-sized replica of a Viking ship. Each year, during the vibrant festivities of Petersburg’s esteemed Little Norway Festival, this awe-inspiring vessel takes to the streets, serving as a powerful symbol of the deep-rooted seafaring heritage that binds the people of Alaska to their Scandinavian ancestry. The Valhalla represents not just a mode of transportation but a timeless embodiment of courage, exploration, and the insatiable quest for distant horizons—an evocative parallel to the daring adventures undertaken by the fishermen of yore.

The imposing gambrel-roofed structure is the Sons of Norway Hall, which dominates the park’s landscape. Erected by the diligent hands of volunteers in 1912, this historic building holds a revered position in the annals of Alaska’s rich cultural heritage. Recognized and listed on the esteemed National Register of Historic Places, the hall stands as a proud testament to the enduring legacy of the fraternal organization, serving not just as a physical tower but as a vibrant hub for an array of cultural events, joyous celebrations, and heartfelt community gatherings.

Petersburg’s annual Little Norway Festival breathes new life into the town’s charming streets, with the Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial Park assuming a central role in the festivities. As the Valhalla gracefully glides through the thoroughfares once more, the park comes alive with the hustle and bustle of activity as locals and visitors gather to pay homage to their shared heritage. Bedecked in traditional Scandinavian attire, the vibrant spirit of the festival is palpable, with the Sons of Norway Hall serving as the perfect backdrop for the exuberant Scandinavian fashion show, where intricately crafted costumes take center stage in a dazzling display of cultural pride and reverence.

As one meanders through the serene pathways of the Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial Park, they are beckoned to pause and reflect upon the intertwined narratives of courage, loss, and resilience that permeate the very essence of this hallowed ground. Though the relentless sea may have exacted its toll, this sacred space ensures that the memory of those who once sailed its unpredictable waves lives on, undiminished by time.

Whether drawn by the allure of art, the allure of history, or simply the warmth of community, visitors are cordially invited to pay homage to the brave guardians of the deep. These intrepid fishermen have left an indelible mark on the tapestry of Alaska’s identity.

23 Sing Lee Alley, Petersburg, AK 99833 |