You can see my summary of Kachemak Bay’s history in the Gallery section. Homer is the biggest settlement on the bay. The site was occasionally used as a camp by early Alutiiq Indians. The town was founded by the Cook Inlet Coal Fields Company when they built a coal mine, dock, town and railroad in the 1890s. It may be best known as the “End of the Road” of Tom Bodett fame. (Thank you, Tom!)
The town was named for Homer Pennock, a gold mining promoter who built living quarters for his men on Homer Spit, a thin line of land that juts into the bay. That same spit is now home to the small boat harbor, restaurants, shops, and other amenities for the fishing and tourism folks that now make up most of the town’s business. The beauty, art and recreation also draw Alaskans to the area, including my friend, author Jennifer Bernard–I mentioned her last week. 🙂
The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference (http://writersconference.homer.alaska.edu), sponsored by the University of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay Campus, is held at Lands End Resort at the end of the spit. The most challenging thing for participants is to ignore the scenery outside the windows and focus on the speakers and our fellow writers in the workshops. The view is magnificent!
This year’s conference is just getting underway today, but I am looking forward to hearing writers Barry Lopez, Nancy Lord, and Don Rearden, agent Jim Rutman, and other faculty members providing information and inspiration. I am so excited to be here!