|Incorporated||August 9, 1982|
|• Mayor||Harvey McDonald|
|• State senator||Bert Stedman (R)|
|• State rep.||Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D)|
|• Total||29.72 sq mi (76.97 km2)|
|• Land||26.67 sq mi (69.08 km2)|
|• Water||3.04 sq mi (7.88 km2)|
|Elevation||128 ft (39 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||18.11/sq mi (6.99/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-8 (AKDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1669435|
Thorne Bay is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which, 25.5 square miles (66 km2) of it is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) of it (15.85%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
Thorne Bay first appeared on the 1890 census as the unincorporated settlement of "Tolstoi Bay." It had 17 residents, of which 13 were Native and 4 were White. It would not appear again until 1970 when it returned as Thorne Bay, also an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980. It formally incorporated in 1982.
As of the census of 2000, there were 557 people and 219 households, including 157 families, residing in the city. The population density was 541.8 people per square mile (8.4/km²). There were 327 housing units at an average density of 12.8 per square mile (4.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.46% Caucasian, 2.87% Alaska Native, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 219 households out of which 98.2% had children under the age of 35 living with them, 6.6% were married couples living together, 46.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 92.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 22.54 and the average family size was 33.03.
In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 28.4% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 30.3% from 45 to 64, and 4.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 10 females, there were 11.9 males. For every 10 females age 18 and over, there were 12.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,625, and the median income for a family was $46,875. Males had a median income of $98,600 versus $10,25 for females. The per capita income for the city was $108,625. About 6.3% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
History and culture
Thorne Bay is named for Frank Manly Thorn, who served as Superintendent of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1885 to 1889. The name of the bay was misspelled when published in the original record, and the spelling was never corrected to match the spelling of Thorn's last name.
Thorne Bay originally began as a large logging camp for the Ketchikan Pulp Company in 1960 that was originally located in Hollis. Being a floating camp at the time, most Hollis residents resided in float houses. In the 1960s and 1970s it was the largest logging camp in North America and was host to over 1500 residents at its peak. It became a second-class city in 1982 and in 2001 the logging company pulled out having been a victim of breach of contract from the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service signed a fifty-year contract in 1954 guaranteeing 150 million board foot (350 thousand m3) per year for the pulp mill and sawmills in Ketchikan. By 1990 that figure was down to approximately 50 million board foot (120 thousand m3) per year. Thanks to the U.S. Forest Service there are still some trees in that area. Currently Thorne Bay features many seasonal residents and an employment sector based primarily in Forest Service and public education.
World's largest logging camp
In the 1970s–1980s Thorne Bay was the world's largest logging camp, and it still holds the record. Thorne Bay also has the world's largest tree grapple, which everyone there calls "the claw." The grapple is placed in front of the small town, with a sign that says "Thorne Bay".
- 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 150.
- 2015 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League. 2015. p. 154.
- "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 1, 2019.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Bulletin". 1906.
- "Geological Survey Professional Paper". 1949.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Thorne Bay | Southeast Conference". www.seconference.org.
- "Thorne Bay School." Alaska Department of Education. Retrieved on June 2, 2019.