Exploring Homer, Alaska: the Pratt Museum

by Janis on August 29, 2011

During a recent visit to Mr. Jones’ hometown of Anchorage, I made a three-day side trip to Homer, Alaska – a small city on the Kenai Peninsula immortalized in Tom Bodett’s As Far As You Can Go Without A Passport: The View From The End Of The Road. It was my first visit to this ‘Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea,’ famous for its spit, creative residents, halibut fishing  and the Salty Dawg Saloon.  

Friends showed me Homer’s highlights and recommended I visit its Pratt Museum.

The Harrington Cabin, part of the outside exhibits at Homer’s Pratt Museum, shows Alaska homestead life of early 20th century.

Visiting Homer, Alaska: the Pratt Museum

The Pratt is a natural history museum featuring a cornucopia of exhibits delving into the history, environment and human experience of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay region.

This display gives an upclose view of the lynx and its large furry paws that act as snow shoes.

Hosting 30,000 visitors each year, the Pratt Museum includes indoor exhibits ranging from art to local legends to mounted bears to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Outdoors, the historic Harrington homestead cabin showcases early 20th century life in Alaska.

Facts about the size of brown bears are more easily understood with this example.

Founded in 1967, the Pratt Museum was as Homer’s centennial project celebrating the U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia.

Visuals like this one comparing the size of an oil tanker with a school bus educate visitors of all ages.

Sam Leon and Vega Anderson Pratt

The museum is built on land donated by Sam and Vega Pratt, located on her family’s original homestead.  Sam moved to Homer in 1936, where he met and married Vega Anderson. Both artists, Sam worked as a fox farmer and commercial fisherman before the Pratt’s started Vega’s Art and Gift Shop in Homer, selling art supplies and a variety of merchandise.

Sam and Vega were active members of the growing community of Homer and when the Museum opened in 1968, Sam served as the first volunteer curator.

Click here for details on planning your visit to the Pratt Museum.

Have you visited the Pratt Museum in Homer?  What was your favorite exhibit?

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