Alaska Ghost Town – King Island abandoned for 50 years

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A century ago, King Island was a bustling community of 200 people who passed their days hunting seals and their long winter nights dancing beneath the wide Alaska skies.

But now, after a series of tragedies, the island stands deserted, reduced to a collection of crumbling, empty homes – a mere skeleton of the thriving neighborhood it once was.

Seventy years ago, as the island’s men were shipped off to battle in World War II and a savage outbreak of tuberculosis claimed many of those left behind, numbers began to dwindle.

The lure of jobs and better medical care on the mainland also added to the exodus, and finally the Bureau of Indian affairs closed the island’s only school in 1959 because of fears of a rock slide.

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