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Forrest, Linn A. | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Forrest, Linn A.

Historical Note: Linn A. Forrest was a professional architect whose firm was based out of Juneau, Alaska (his firm continues today as MRV Architects). During the 1930s he became involved in the restoration of authentic Southeast Alaska Native architecture, especially totem poles. In the late 1930s the U.S. Forest Service contracted Linn A. Forrest and regional forester, B. Frank Heintzleman, to oversee various Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) operations to restore and preserve totem poles and traditional Native architecture. From 1937 to 1939, and via a $24,000 U.S. Government grant to the Alaska Native Brotherhood as a CCC project, Forrest oversaw the construction of the Shakes Island Community House and totems at Wrangell, Alaska. In 1939 he also oversaw totem pole restoration work at the Sitka National Park. Through these and other efforts Forrest become highly involved in local Native life and later wrote a book about his experiences, The Wolf and the Raven: Totem Poles of Southeastern Alaska, popularity for which has led to it being republished in over twenty editions.

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