Ouzinkie is located on the southwest shore of Spruce Island, 10 miles north of the city of Kodiak on Kodiak Island, and is characterized by swampy areas, volcanic and sedimentary rock and an abundance of tall spruce trees.
One of the oldest settlements of the archipelago, Ouzinkie is separated from Kodiak Island by a strait named Uskiy, which means “very narrow” in Russian. The Russian American Company founded Ouzinkie as a retirement community in the early 1800s. In the late 1800s, several canneries sprang up, reliant on the rich fishing grounds in the area. A series of disasters over the years including fire and a tsunami destroyed the canneries and were never replaced.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity, built in 1898, is tucked in a cove of spruce trees. The unique and picturesque Russian Orthodox architecture make it a favorite among photographers. Ouzinkie was home to St. Herman, the first canonized Russian Orthodox saint in North America. St. Herman's chapel is located at Monks Lagoon and can be explored with the local Russian Orthodox Church reader who explains the history of the holy sites and old gravestones. Every year in early August there is an annual pilgrimage to St. Herman’s home site on Spruce Island.
Things to do
Salmon and halibut fishing, beautiful scenery, wildlife, Native culture, Russian history and the view from the top of Mount St. Herman make Ouzinkie a perfect experience for the adventurous traveler.
Charter boat operators based in Ouzinkie offer salmon and halibut fishing and marine wildlife excursions from the village.
St Hermans Chapel
On the East end of Spruce Island is Monk's Lagoon, the home of St. Herman's Chapel. The lagoon is the sacred ground of Saint Herman, the first canonized saint of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America.
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity
At the heart of the Community of Ouzinkie is the Nativity of Our Lord, a Russian Orthodox Church, that was built in 1898 and today is a National Historical Landmark. Located in a picturesque cove, the church is a photographers' delight while the parish is still active today with services on Saturday, Sunday, and other church holidays.
Ouzinkie Island is wedged between Marmot and Monashka Bay, where baleen, humpback, fin, gray whales and orcas frequently are seen passing through. Charter boat operators in Ouzinkie can arrange wildlife life cruises into these popular whale waters.