Admiralty Island has long been the home of the Kootznoowoo Tlingit group, or Xootsnoowú Ḵwáan in Tlingit. Kootznoowoo means "fortress of brown bears", literally xoots-noow-ú "brown.bear-fortress-possessive". Angoon has a less-rainy climate than most of southeastern Alaska and was valued by the Tlingit for that reason.
During the Russian period in Alaska, from the 18th century to the mid-19th century, fur trading was a major economic activity in the area.
In 1878, after the 1867 Alaska Purchase, the Northwest Trading Company established a trading post and whaling station on nearby Killisnoo Island and employed Angoon villagers to hunt whales. Whaling, a school and a Russian Orthodox Church attracted many Tlingits to neighboring Killisnoo.
In 1882, a whaling vessel's harpoon charge accidentally misfired and exploded, killing a crewmember who was a Tlingit shaman, or medicine man. Villagers demanded payment of 200 blankets to the man's family, as was customary. The Northwest Trading Company sought help from the United States Navy at Sitka. Angoon and a nearby summer camp were shelled and destroyed by the revenue cutter Thomas Corwin.
After a short time, the Northwest Trading Company switched to herring processing. During this time, many Tlingits moved to Killisnoo for employment at the fish plant. In 1928, Killisnoo was destroyed by fire and many Tlingits returned to Angoon.
In 1973, Angoon won a U.S. $90,000 settlement from the United States government for the 1882 bombardment.
Angoon is located at 57°29′49″N 134°34′25″W (57.496891, -134.573579).
Angoon is the largest permanent settlement on Admiralty Island. It is located on an isthmus at the mouth of Kootznahoo Inlet on the west side of the island. It is 97 km (60 mi) southwest of Juneau. The only other community on the island is Cube Cove, to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 38.6 square miles (100 km2), of which, 22.5 square miles (58 km2) of it is land and 16.1 square miles (42 km2) of it (41.69%) is water.
According to the Köppen climate classification system, Angoon has an Oceanic climate (Cfb).
As of the census of 2000, there were 572 people, 184 households, and 138 families residing in the city. The population density was 25.4 people per square mile (9.8/km²). There were 221 housing units at an average density of 9.8 per square mile (3.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.99% Native American, 11.36% White, 5.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race, 0.52% Black or African American, 0.17% Asian, 1.40% from other races, and 4.55% from two or more races.
There were 184 households out of which 42.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.64.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 34.8% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 110.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,861, and the median income for a family was $31,429. Males had a median income of $21,250 versus $30,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,357. About 27.0% of families and 27.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.1% of those under age 18 and 20.0% of those age 65 or over.
Harriet Silva is the mayor of Angoon. There is also a city council.
Fishing and fish processing are the mainstays of the economy at Angoon now.
Angoon is looking into non-diesel electric power generation to reduce local electric bills.
Angoon was listed by Sunset magazine as one of the "Top 100 Best Honeymoon Spots" in July 2009.
Chatham School District operates two schools:Angoon Elementary School
Angoon High School