Jesse Lee Home for Children

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It is said that some of the dozens of children who died here in the 1964 earthquake are still present. Sounds have been heard of children giggling, jumping rope, and running around.

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    Geographic Information

    Phoenix Dr.
    Seward, Alaska
    United States

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    60.12634884855719, -149.44699189314576
    Kenai Peninsula County
    Nearest Towns:
    Seward, AK (1.5 mi.)
    Bear Creek, AK (3.2 mi.)
    Lowell Point, AK (3.7 mi.)
    Primrose, AK (15.4 mi.)
    Primrose, AK (17.9 mi.)
    Crown Point, AK (20.6 mi.)
    Crown Point, AK (20.8 mi.)
    Moose Pass, AK (25.1 mi.)
    Cooper Landing, AK (28.4 mi.)
    Whittier, AK (51.7 mi.)


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    Comments (6)

    1. I’m an Alaska resident and I thought you should know that absolutely no children or anyone else died in the Jesse Lee Home for Children during the 1964 earthquake. Not sure where you got that info but it is completely false.

      • Shut the front door Peg!! You’re just trying to keep keeping away. I’ve walked passed it many times and I’ve heard voices of children playing and laughing and crying and singing songs that belong to Drake’s newest album, Scorpion. Again, shut the front door peg.

    2. This is a true statement the children that are reported to have died, were the children that died at at the first location of the children’s home and as far as I knew you we not even allow by the city of Seward to be on location I wonder if they got permission to be there but hay it’s cool to see

    3. Stephanie Sanderlin  |  

      My grandmother grew up in the Jesse Lee Home. As it is the closest thing she had to a family home, I’ve visited the site many times and have read everything I can find about it, including the record of events connected to the 1964 earthquake. It’s absolutely true that no children or staff members died in that earthquake The Homis located in the midsresidentia neighborhood where there are lots of living people—including children. They make noise because, you know, living people make noise. The Home is in a clearing, so there isn’t much to block noise carrying from the neighborhood of living people. There’s also not much to block ocean breezes, so there is where the sudden chilly drafts come from. Sorry folks, there’s no evidence for haunting.

      It is a cool building with lots of history. Several notable Alaska Native people spent time there including one of the youngest ever winners of the amount Marathon race: a 14 year-old who competed against adult runners.

      The Home is in a beautiful location. It’s very easy to imagine children running around the grounds there. That doesn’t mean spiritual activity; it means we think about the past when we see physical reminders of it. Alaska has a sad history of neglect and physical, mental, and sexual abuse of Native children in boarding schools before the reclaiming of legal status and sovereignty in the early 1970s, However, the Jesse Lee Home was generally a safe and pleasant place for the children there. The teachers and staff made efforts to keep the children connected to cultural activities like fishing, hunting, and berry-picking. They held holiday celebrations and, despite being an initiative of the Methodist Church, they recognized Russian Orthodox Christmas to respect the faith that many of the children came from. Was it perfect? Of course not. Did children get the religious traditions and strong cultural connections they would have received in their home communities? Of course not. Did they long for their families? Absolutely. But it was one place where non-Natives did make efforts to actually care for and protect Native children. Every child received a solid education—despite my English degree, I could never beat my grandmother at Scrabble, and life skills like sewing, cooking, gardening, basic mechanics and construction, etc.

      The actual history of the Jesse Lee Home is fascinating without any made-up hauntings.

    4. I lived in the Kimberly court apartments and could see the building from my bedroom window. These apartments were the only ones I ever sleep walked in, and I always ended up in the bathtub. I also had numerous night mares about the place. I know no one died from the earth quake but I heard rumors there were deaths from tuberculosis? Not sure if there is truth to that, but what happened to me as a child living there was enough for me to remember vividly as an adult.

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