The long rich cultural story of the Glacier Bay and Icy Strait area begins with the Tlingit people who have inhabited the land for thousands of years. When the glacier rapidly advanced it displaced the Huna Tlingit people living there. As the glacier retreated in the late 1700’s, the bay became a rich hunting ground for seal and salmon.
In 1793 Captain George Vancouver named Point Adolphus after Adolphus Frederick, the seventh son of King George. In 1878 while working on a coastal survey, William Healey Dall saw ‘Adolphus’ on the map and assumed it was for King Gustavus IIof Sweden, AKA Gustavus Adolphus. Strawberry Point, which was across from Point Adolphus wasn’t listed on the map so Healey put ‘Gustavus’ on the map. The area’s first European settlers arrived in the early 20th century.
Gustavus’s sandy soil was a prime place to harvest wild strawberries and thus the origin of it’s unofficial name ‘Strawberry Point’.
A few families farmed potatoes and rutabagas that were shipped to Juneau and even brought in cows by hand built boats and barges. Since then, locals maintain that pioneering spirit as retirees , artists, musicians, writers, commercial fishing, running small saw mills, Park Service employees, serving the tourist industry, educators at the local school and staff or volunteers for the City of Gustavus.