About Miller's Landing Business & History - Seward, Alaska
Miller’s Landing is located in the small, secluded community of Lowell Point just 2½ miles south of Seward. It has very special and unique Alaskan charm, and is literally the “end of the road.” Where the road ends on Lowell Point, The Alaska State Parks and the Kenai Fjords National Parks systems begin. The panoramic view from our campground and storefront porch is unbeatable – ask any Sewardite! It includes Resurrection Bay, the City of Seward, Mount Alice, Caines Head, and the barrier islands that protect the region from the Gulf of Alaska: Fox Island, Hive Island, and Rugged Island.
We are surrounded by the awesome beauty of the contrast created as the mountains rise straight out of the ocean in every direction. Lowell Point is home to a large inner tidal zone which attracts marine wildlife of all types. It’s not uncommon to spot humpback or orca whales right from our beachfront, watch harbor porpoise roll and feed, and see bald eagles hanging out on the beach. Salmon of all types can be caught right from the shore as the season progresses, from kings to silvers, reds to pinks and chums, it is in fact common to watch them skip across the bay, sometimes in seemingly impossible numbers. Sea otters eat the mussels and clams found out front, and, if you’re quiet, you can hear them cracking the shells open. They can be seen all day lounging about sometimes only a dozen feet offshore. Many locals and visitors alike over the last 30+ years Miller’s Landing has been in business have been taken in by the friendly Alaskan charm of this small, oceanfront community.
Lowell Point is not crowded, nor commercialized. There are still many remnants of the Miller homestead in place, from the subsistence farm that supported Grandma Penny and her six children to the heavy equipment required to settle raw country. There was no road or other utility here, and everything that needed to be done to survive and prosper was done by the family.
It wasn’t until the late ’80s that running water and electricity made it to Miller’s Landing proper, and before then water was hauled or pumped by hand, and a small generator provided electricity a few hours per day. The original store was framed from the infrastructure of a wooden barge that washed ashore – absolutely nothing goes to waste on a homestead. In short, what you see when you come to Lowell Point today was done largely by the people you see living there. It has grown significantly over the last 30 years, and is full of the charm associated with a quaint Alaskan fishing and kayaking community.
Lowell Point originally had two homesteads: one dissolved and was subdivided. The other, the Miller’s Family homestead, was founded in territorial Alaska in the 1950s by the Grandma Penny and her children. Today, the majority of the Miller’s Family homestead remains intact, and with it, a good number of the actual Miller Family. Four of the six children live on or maintain homes on Lowell Point, including Aunt Maggie and Uncle Steve, Aunt Mary, and Miller’s Landing Founder, Mike Miller, and his sons. Over the years, Miller’s Landing has grown from a tiny campground with more skiffs than skiff trailers to a robust fishing and kayaking camp on the oceanfront.
We’ve been able to plumb potable water for fill stations, build a bathroom, laundry, and shower facility, run electricity along our beachfront RV park and to select sites in the woods, build our own fish cleaning table and launch ramp, develop a sizable kayaking fleet, and custom build water taxi and charter vessels to best handle the Alaskan environment we know best. Our store facility offers a large covered deck, wood fired heat, and free coffee nearly 20 hours per day during the summer season, with a booking desk to help you plan every conceivable part of your Alaskan vacation. From transportation to or from the airport, to guided hikes, to helicopter rides – we work with everyone we possibly can and we don’t charge a commission for anything that we do. Whether you know what you would like or need some help planning, contact us and we’ll do everything we can to help!
Grandma Penny (Ethel Louise Bumcrot – but if you called her by her given name her warm demeanor would quickly fade) raised chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, goats, and any number of homeless dogs and cats at a time on the homestead’s farm. For many years she sold farm fresh eggs at the campground’s store, a tradition that’s been taken over by her son, Steve. After a flood damaged their home in 1957 the family spent five years on the remote island of LaTouche near the entrance of Prince William Sound, where her and her children lived at the recently abandoned Kenecott Copper Mine. The children were homeschooled, and moved from Lowell Point to the hunting and fishing mecca of (still) remote Alaska. Her children all consider LaTouche close to their heart, and you might as well – having the run of an abandoned mining town as a child in an Alaskan wilderness! Returning to the homestead in the early ’60s due to the correspondence school only going to sixth grade, unfortunately their home was destroyed by a fire in 1963.
In the earthquake of 1964, their home that was still under construction survived, as they lived in the full basement of the house. The commercial fishing fleet of Seward were in large part a total loss. In the summer of ’64, the family started a campground and boat rental business to make ends meet, and though the business was only open for four years, it made such an impression on young Mike that in 1982 he started Miller’s Landing.
Fishing is a labor of love for Mike and his sons, and today he is considered one of the most experienced local guides, having fished the area his entire life and now having charter-fished for over 36 years in the area. Our clients enjoy fishing with Captain Mike and the boys – both licensed captains – while he shows them the waters and land he knows so well. Sherrie (Mike’s wife) is also a licensed Captain, and helps out with the boats.
The Miller’s two sons (Chance and Tommy) both grew up on the homestead, and as such on the boats. They deckhanded for their father on the charter boats and learned the fishing trade. Both have spent a significant amount of time on the United States Antarctic Program’s research vessels, and worked on research vessels in the arctic during the off season as well. Living at sea is a lot like living on a homestead – you spend a lot of time doing what you “can’t” do.
Captains Mike, Sherry, Tommy, and Chance have a collective expertise that they love to share and pass on to visitors and the community.
At Miller’s Landing, we work hard to keep the business going – still family run since 1982. We hope you notice and appreciate the homemade and do-it-yourself nature of our facility. We take great pride in showing our visitors Alaska through our own eyes, and we just want the opportunity to make these things as special to you as they are to us.
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