Ketchikan's 104-year-old American Legion building, a community centerpiece, destroyed by fire

Spread the word and share!

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Sep 11, 2023

The Joseph T. Craig Post 3 building in Ketchikan was destroyed by fire over the weekend and arson is believed to be the cause, according to the local police department.

The fire started sometime Sunday morning and was contained around 6:30 a.m., but the damage had been done to the 104-year-old structure.

“This is a devastating lost for both the community, state and the American Legion,” said Kelly Peterson of the American Legion Department of Alaska.”

The Joseph T. Craig Post 3 building opened on Sept. 9, 1919, and was the oldest American Legion post in Alaska.

“The building was a main stay in the community being used by many organizations for meetings and functions,” said Peterson. “It had a longtime history and many artifacts that were lost.”

By Sunday night, Ketchikan police had made an arrest and charged a 28-year-old man with first-degree arson and reckless endangerment.

The building was more than just a structure – it was the heart of the community.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the American Legion family in Ketchikan,” Peterson said. “The Department of Alaska and many Post are there to support Ketchikan Post in their rebuilding of their home post.”