population 18315, on N coast of Wrangell I., Alex Arch.
Wrangell began as a stockade built by the Russians occupying the island in 1834 to prevent encroachment by the Hudson's Bay Company traders "(Bridgwater and Sherwood, 1950, p. 2,175). It was called "Red(ut) Sv (ataya) Dionisiya, "meaning" "Redoubt (fort) Saint Dionysius," by the Russian Hydrographic Dept. on Chart 1396 published in 1848. In 1839 the Russians leased part of Southeast Alaska to the British who changed the name military post, called "Fort Wrangell," was established here; it was abandoned in 1877. "Fort Wrangell" post office was established in 1869; changed to Wrangell in 1902 (Ricks, 1965, p. 21, 72). Because of its location Wrangell became an important supply point for fur traders and miners beginning with the Stikine gold rush in 1861 (Alaska Sportsman, 1962, no. 12, p. 30). The population in 1890 was 316; 1000 (est.) in 1938; 948 in 1945; and 1,162 in 1950. Wrangell's ecoonomy today is dominated by the fishing and lumbering industries, maintaining three canneries and two l