• Where is Ketron Island? Who lives there?

    By: Kenny Ocker, The News Tribune

    Updated:

    Ketron Island, the site of a crash of a hijacked Alaska Airlines plane taken from Sea-Tac Airport sits in the South Puget Sound.

    The privately owned island is reachable only by ferry and is served by the Anderson Island-Steilacoom ferry run by Pierce County. The population listed in the 2010 U.S. Census was all of 17 people.

    The 221-acre island was supposed to be named for William Kittson of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who supervised the construction of Fort Nisqually in 1833, according to the book Washington State Place Names. The name was bungled while transcribed to a map, giving the island its name.

    The island has no gas station, store, mail delivery or garbage pickup, and the Pierce County ferry only comes four times a day. Many of the residents use their own boats to reach the mainland in Steilacoom.

    Anchorage-based entrepreneur J.C. Morris bought the entire island in 1946 and planned to build 200 homes on the island with a retail center, churches and a school. His plan was thwarted by the prohibitive cost of installing sewer lines.

    Morris’ mansion was sold in 2015, a 5,300-square-foot mansion platted on 5 acres of land. The Thurston County residents who bought the home paid $1.1 million for it.


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