SHOTGUN ALLEY

Shotgun Alley in Sitka is a short road that takes off from Sawmill Creek highway and plunges down to the beach. I confess I have never driven down it, but always assumed the name came from the straight shot to the beach.

Not long ago I ran into some old friends, Chuck and Alice Johnstone, from Sitka and somehow the name came up. Chuck said his father was responsible for Shotgun Alley. When he moved to his house on the beach, he did not take kindly to trespassers, among whom he included anyone who drove down to his property uninvited.

When that happened, he would come outside, shotgun in hand, and threaten to shoot the interloper. (He never actually fired the gun, or intended to.)

Thence the name.

Some years later, when a few other people had built houses along the alley, it was suggested that a better name be given, but the residents made it clear they liked the name and would fight to the death or at least to the ordinance to keep it. So Shotgun Alley it remains.

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