Soldotna sportc center
The first permanent residents of Soldotna were World War II Veterans, given a 90-day preference over non-veterans in selecting and filing for homestead property in 1947. That same year, the Sterling Highway right-of-way was bulldozed from Cooper Landing to Kenai. Soldotna was selected as the site for the Sterling Highway Bridge crossing the Kenai River.
The opening of the Sterling Highway provided a link to the outside world. The highway opened up the region to more homesteading and brought visiting sportsmen to the area for the first time. Soldotnas first post office opened in 1949, with stores and a community center following shortly thereafter.
In 1957, oil was discovered in the Swanson River region, bringing new development to the Kenai Peninsula. In 1960, Soldotna incorporated as a fourth class city with a population of 332. The first Mayor of Soldotna was Don Wilson. A new post office and airport were constructed in 1962. With the approval of first class city status in 1967, Soldotna borrowed the funds necessary to establish a $2.3 million water and sewer system.
During the growth years of the 1970s and 1980s, Soldotna established itself as a service center for the Borough, the site for Central Peninsula General Hospital, the Kenai Peninsula College, the Alaska State Trooper Headquarters, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and the administrative headquarters for the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Soldotna has become an important administrative hub for the Central Kenai Peninsula.
The City of Soldotna – “Caring for the River and Each Other”
Soldotna — Where the Kenai River flows through a vital community which provides a safe, friendly home; where citizens take pride and responsibility for their extraordinary quality of life; visitors feel welcome and aspire to return.
Soldotna is one of the few places in the United States where the epic saga of Western expansion, homesteading, land clearing, road building, civic growth, and development have occurred within the lifetime of most long-term residents. The parents of many of the Soldotna civic leaders homesteaded here after World War II, helped construct the Sterling Highway and the bridge over the Kenai River, and actively participated in the growth and development of the community.
Soldotna’s seasonal population varies widely, expanding during the summer season to accommodate various recreation activities and tourists. In fact, on busy summer weekends, the entire population of the Kenai Peninsula Borough can more than double, as Anchorage-area residents descend to the Kenai for fishing and other outdoor activities