Haines' New Telephone Pole Park
Construction continues at the waterfront on the new intersection of Fort Seward at Portage Cove. Our friends from AP&T have added a new attraction that dwarfs the big hammer on Main Street: What may be the largest municipal telephone pole in southeast Alaska has proudly risen on a waterfront knoll dead center of where the new roads and sidewalks meet. It is flanked by more giant poles and sturdy guy wires fit for a Los Angeles intertie, all marching through the historic district from the cruise ship dock to Tlingit Park in Haines most highly visited and photographed area. "Saxman and Sitka already have totem pole parks", a spokesperson for the Haines Borough Planning Commission who wished to remain anonymous said." But Haines has the only telephone pole park in Alaska. We could have buried the lines, other communities have chosen that option when old poles are replaced, but John Schnabel did that on Main Street when he was mayor about 60 years ago, and it hasn't boosted business any. There are visitors who have cruised all the way up the Inside Passage and haven't seen a telephone pole who will love them. This could be bigger for Haines than the Chilkoot bears. We are planning to rename Beach Road Alaska Power & Telephone Street, and the new waterfront pole-lined sidewalk will be called Telephone Pole Promenade." He said he'd like to see the CVB add a "Telephone Pole Days" Festival at May Day and deck the poles with ribbons and dance around them. "The location is what makes these telephone poles spectacular, anywhere else you'd hardly notice them. But on the waterfront they are so impressive. The scale actually can compete with grandeur of the mountain and fjord backdrop."