Story last updated at 5/16/2012 - 12:09 pm
Douglas Island is 25 miles long, and five to eight miles in width. It was discovered and named for John Douglas, then Earl of Salisbury, by Capitan George Vancouver in 1973.
Based on 1910 estimates, Douglas was the largest city in Southeast Alaska. The Post Office was established in 1887, Fire Department in 1898, School 1891, and town incorporation in 1902. The Juneau-Douglas bridge was built in 1935. Douglas consolidated with the city of Juneau July 1, 1970, and is now part of the Capital of Alaska.
My memories include a special form of hospitality, known as Douglasitis. It's welcoming a newcomer or taking someone who doesn't own a boat hunting or fishing. It's shooting the bull over a cup of coffee with old friends, then trying to out fumble them for the tab.
Douglasitis is a vocabulary. It does not contain the words such as smog, armed robbery, discrimination, traffic jam, or police brutality. It is what makes you stop to help someone launch a boat, or get a stalled car started. By the same token, it causes another driver to loan you his spare tire until you can get to the garage to have yours repaired. Douglasitis lets you breathe clean air, fish clear waters, and hunt green forests.
Doris (Balog) Wahts often commented, "The only good thing about living in Juneau, is the beautiful view across Gastineau Channel of Douglas." Spoken like a true Douglasite.