Taku Inlet
and the
Taku Glaciers
By: Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1896)
Taku Inlet extends extends 18 miles in a N. E. direction from Stephen's Passage, widening to a basin where the Taku River, a tide-water, and an Alpine glacier dischrge their floods.
It is one of the show places on the Alaska coast, and is reguarly visited by excursion steamers. The Taku Glacier was christened the Schulze Glacier in 1883, in honour of Paul Schulze, of Tacoma, and in 1891 was renamed the Foster Glacier, in honour of the then Secretary of the Treasury; but locally to geologists, tourists and navigators it remains Taku. The native Name is Sitth Klunu Gutta, "the spirits' home." It is Sitth too Yehk's, the ice spirit's, very palace of delight, and the fabled man-faced seals with their human hands live and frolic in its clear blue grottoes and crystal dells. the ice-stream, a mile in width, fills its canons from wall to wall, and is squarely broken front rises from 100 to 200 ft. above the water. It is one of the purest and cleanest glaciers, without medial or apparent lateral moraines, and deeply fissered and crevassed for the 5 miles of its course which is visable from the water. Because of its purity, ships prefer to fill their ice-boxes in this basin, and the process of lassoing the icebergs and hoisting them on board is an interesting feature in ship life.
On the north shore of the inlet there is a large glacier of the Swiss type, two ice-streams joining and sweeping in a broad fan slope to a terminal moraine, and the sandy level is cut by many watercourses and covered with beds of crimson epilobium. A landing is sometimes made, and tourists are given opportunity to visit the glacier, which the natives call Sitth Kadischle, the Spaniards' Glacier. The Kadischle was christened the Norris Glacier in 1886,  for Dr. Basil Norris, U. S. A., and in 1891 was named the Windom Glacier, in honour of the late Secretary of the Treasury.  To tourists and scientists it is most commonly known as the Norris. it is more broken than either the Mer de Glace or the Aletsch Glacier, and is six times the width of the former and three times the width  of the latter at the last gateway, where it spreads out into the great rounded front.
Scource: Sidmore, Eliza Ruhamah. Appletons' Guide-Book to Alaska, New York:
D. Appleton and Company, 1896, 80-81
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