Brief History of Homer, Alaska

Homer, Alaska has been called “the end of the road” by one of the town’s more famous resident. While it was started as a coal mining town, it became famous because of residents who became famous and reality television. Before the late 1890s, the area was only used as a campsite, specifically the Alutiik tribes from across the Kachemak Bay. The area was used for hunting and fishing by them and others.


Mining Start

The campsite was changed in 1889. Coal was discovered and the Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company built the town, mines, and railroad. A few years later, gold was discovered, but it was never profitable. The coal was mined until the second World War. The official year of the town founding is 1895, named for Homer Pennock. Pennock was a gold prospector but only stayed a year.

While mining started the town, fishing has turned into the major industry of Homer. They have named themselves the Halibut Capital of the World. The fishing is one of the ways that reality television has entered the town. The Deadliest Catch boat is from Homer, as are several of the crew members who have been featured on the show.

Famous People

The first person to put Homer on people’s radar was Tom Bodett, of Motel 6 fame. He wrote a book called As Far as You Can Go Without a Passport, with tales of the city. This is the book that brought the title “the end of the road”. The singer and songwriter Jewell is from Homer, as well. Her family was part of the reality show Alaska: The Last Frontier. That show, and the Deadliest Catch, has shown people outside Alaska a side of the state that people were not aware of. The city is also the birthplace of Christian musician Lincoln Brewster, the senior worship pastor of a church in California.

While most people do not pay attention to mining history, as most know Alaska had people head there because of gold, that started this town. Reality television, though, does get viewers. The people who watch these shows can see the rich history of a small, quiet town.

If you are looking to visit the unique town of Homer, Alaska, there are many different hotels in the area that can accommodate you during your stay. We recommend staying at The Driftwood Inn for the ultimate Homer, Alaska lodging experience putting you near the area’s best attractions.