Homer Alaska
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Map of Homer

Map of Homer area, based on USGS Seldovia map sheet, 1963 revised in 1985. Squares are townships, 6 miles on a side; elevations in feet.

Homer Station History

Located near the tip of the Kenai peninsula, on NW side of Kachemak Bay. Some shelter from SE from mountains across bay. Current coordinates 59 degrees 38' N, 151 degrees 30' W, elevation 67 feet, AAG p 62. September 1932-August 1934 at 59 degrees39' N, 200 feet elevation, over sod 100 feet from trees and 25 feet from Anderson house, thermometers 4 feet. November 1935-July 1937 half mile NNE at 59 degrees 40' N, 100 feet elevation at Groth home, shelter 40 feet from building and trees, thermometers at 5 feet. Continuous record starts 10/26/1938 2.5 miles SW, 59 degrees 38' N, 151 degrees 33' W, elevation 49 feet at Berry's Store. Instruments moved to roof (thermometers at 26 feet) 6/24/41. 12/12/42 moved 2 miles E and 18 feet up to airport, thermometer height back to 5 feet. 11/23/70 no horizontal move shown, but ground elevation lowered from 67 feet to 63 feet. This may have been belated recognition of true elevation changes after the 1964 earthquake, when the ground dropped on the Cook Inlet side of the Kenai Peninsula. Station moved 0.3 miles SE and up to 67 feet, and instruments moved to roof (22 feet above ground) 9/1/81. LCD ties 67 feet to move to roof. Hygrothermometer HO8 series installed at 7 feet elevation 11/29/84.

Observation time 5 pm before 1938; 4 pm 1938-12/12/42; midnight thereafter.

Observer USWS 1967-present, formerly coop and FAA/CAA. Length fair; data completeness good since 1940 (missing only April 1973 since 1940) erratic earlier; site continuity fair except for 1942 move but movement of instruments on and off roof bothersome.

Homer Temperature History

Homer — It's a humble name for a little town that is anything but ordinary.  Named for Homer Pennock, a gold miner who established the first development  on the Homer Spit in 1896. Today's Homer is a thriving community of approximately 4,000 residents, most of whom came to this area for one reason: it is one  of the most beautiful places in the world. Homer is blessed with a view to the south that is stunning in its beauty and grandeur. Across the sparkling waters of Kachemak Bay, the rugged Kenai Mountains spread east, west, and south. Soaring snowcapped peaks overlook massive glaciers crawling toward  the sea. Along the coastline, the steep mountain valleys form narrow fjords.  The waters within rise and fall with the tides—witnessed at times only  by a bald eagle soaring overhead, or a black bear prowling the shore. The  mountains have a thousand moods, depending on the time of day, the sun, the clouds, rain, snow, and wind. It is one of the few places in the world, if not the only one, where several glaciers and active volcanos can be viewed  at the same time.

Homer is at the southwest tip of the Kenai Peninsula on Kachemak Bay. The  town lies 225 paved highway miles from Anchorage and is easily accessible  by highway, sea, or air. Temperatures range above zero in winter and summer  sends temperatures up to a pleasant 62 degree average.

Homer's picturesque setting, mild climate and great fishing (especially for halibut) attract thousands of visitors each year. In addition to its tourist  industry and role as a trade center, commercial fishing industry is an important  part of its economy. Homer is sometimes called the "halibut fishing capital  of the world."

Rising behind the town-site are gently sloping bluffs which rise to 1,200  feet to form the southern rim of the western plateau of the Kenai Peninsula.  These green slopes are tinted in pastel shades by acres of wildflowers from June to September; fireweed predominates among scattered patches of geranium,  paintbrush, lupine, rose and many other wildflower species.

Homer has endless activities throughout the year for the whole family. As  summer season blossoms kayaking, art galleries, day-trips to Katmai to see  brown bears and flight seeing are just a few of the activities which can fill  your day in Homer. Fall gives a harvest of wild berries. With winter comes skiing, both alpine and cross-country. Dogsledding, skijoring and ice skating vie for attention among locals and "soft adventure" winter tourists.  Wildlife cruises and king salmon fishing are offered throughout the winter  months and of course, nothing is more exciting than seeing the beautiful Aurora Borealis. With spring around the corner gearing up for both commercial and  sport fishing begins and before we realize it, summer is upon us once again,  and it is time for 19-hour days and nonstop fun.

Homer was founded in 1896 by gold seekers. Among these early adventurers was Homer Pennock, from whom the town took its name. Near the turn of the  century, coal mines were developed; and eventually, one of Alaska's first  railroad was built to haul coal to waiting ships anchored off Homer Spit. The mines and railway shut down during World War II.

The original town at the end of Homer Spit burned down when an exposed coal seam caught fire, and the town was rebuilt on the present town-site. Homer  became a city in 1964.

The town's economy is based on tourism, farming, fishing and seafood processing.

The History of Homer

Homer is located on the north shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwestern Kenai Peninsula. The Homer Spit, a 4.5-mile long bar of gravel, extends from the Homer shoreline. It is 227 road miles south of Anchorage, at the southern-most point of the Sterling Highway. It lies at approximately 59° 38' N Latitude, 151° 33' W Longitude (Sec. 19, T006S, R013W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Homer Recording District. The area encompasses 11 sq. miles of land and 16 sq. miles of water.

The Homer area has been homes to Kenaitze Indians for thousands of years. In 1895 the U.S. Geological Survey arrived to study coal and gold resources. Prospectors bound for Hope and Sunrise disembarked at the Homer Spit. The community was named for Homer Pennock, a gold mining company promoter, who arrived in 1896 and built living quarters for his crew of 50 on the Spit. Their plans were to mine the beach sands along Cook Inlet, from Homer to Ninilchik. The Homer post office opened shortly thereafter. In 1899, Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company built a town and dock on the Spit, a coal mine at Homer's Bluff Point, and a 7-mile-long railroad which carried the coal to the end of Homer Spit. Various coal mining operations continued until World War I, and settlers continued to trickle into the area, some to homestead in the 1930s and 40s, other to work in the canneries built to process Cook Inlet fish. Coal provided fuel for homes, and there is still an estimated 400 million tons of coal deposits in the vicinity of Homer. After then Good Friday earthquake in 1964, the Homer Spit sunk approximately 4 to 6 feet, and several buildings had to be relocated.


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