Kenai's History and Facts

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The City of Kenai, Alaska


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Kenai’s Motto: “Village with a past, city with a future”

City History: As far back as the 1700’s Kenai was a village inhabited by the Dena'ina Indians. The city’s name is believed to be derived from the Dena’ina Athabascan Indian words for big flats, brush and tree’s. In mid 1791 Russian fur traders settled Kenai thus beginning the largest site for fur and fish trading in the entire Cook Inlet region. Over a hundred years later the city welcomed its first cannery, built by the Northern Packing Company. The turn of the century brought with it the first school in town, built in an area we now know as Old Town Kenai. Over twenty years after incorporating itself as a city, Kenai built its first City Hall in 1981. Ten years later, in 1991, the city with a future celebrated its 200th anniversary becoming a bicentennial city.

Weather: The average summertime temperature in Kenai is around 60 degrees. The wintertime averages considerably colder temps ranging from 15 to 35 degree’s. The coldest times of the year can bring low’s well below zero.

Kenai Facts:

  • Kenai is nestled amongst active volcanoes in the “ring of fire” (mt. spur, mt. redoubt, mt. iliamna) all of which are visible from the city.
  • In 1992 Kenai gained fame for becoming an "All American City".
  • Kenai is world famous for the trophy fishing its local Kenai River offers.
  • Over 7,000 people live in the city of Kenai.

Kenai City Links: Visit these great websites offering even more history, travel information and facts on the beautiful City of Kenai, Alaska.

Kenai Convention & Visitors Bureau

Official Kenai Alaska Government Page

Kenai Chamber of Commerce