The History of Seward by Hotel Seward: Brown & Hawkins

Jan 23, 2018

Historic Hotel Seward, Alaska’s premiere boutique hotel, is proud to be located in the quaint seaside town of Seward, Alaska, the gateway to Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. The history of our town is full of fascinating stories and we’re honored to share photos from our vast collection that is on display in the common spaces of our historic building.

Brown & Hawkins Building

Brown & Hawkins was a general store in Seward, Alaska that was founded in 1904 to serve the town and those constructing of the Alaska Central Railroad. It was the oldest continuously operating business in Seward and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Brown & Hawkins was a business venture between partners Charles E. Brown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and T.W. Hawkins of Roanoke, Virginia. The two men met in Nome during the Gold Rush. They first started business together in Valdez in 1900 before moving to Seward in 1903. Their business in Seward included a store and bank.

The store building began as a one-story 12 by 24 feet (3.7 m × 7.3 m) frontier store with a low false front in 1903. It evolved through four periods of construction to add and modify additional structures.

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