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Dillingham, Alaska History

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This history is taken from the Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs.

"The area around Dillingham was inhabited by both Eskimos and Athabascans and became a trade center when Russians erected the Alexandrovski Redoubt (Post) in 1818. Local Native groups and Natives from the Kuskokwim Region, the Alaska Peninsula and Cook Inlet mixed together as they came to visit or live at the post. The community was known as Nushagak by 1837, when a Russian Orthodox mission was established. In 1881, the U.S. Signal Corps established a meteorological station at Nushagak. In 1884, the first salmon cannery in the Bristol Bay region was constructed by Arctic Packing Co., east of the site of modern-day Dillingham. Ten more were established within the next seventeen years. The post office at Snag Point and town were named after U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham in 1904, who had toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee during 1903. The 1918-19 influenza epidemic struck the region, and left no more than 500 survivors. A hospital and orphanage were established in Kanakanak after the epidemic, y miles from the present-day City Center. The Dillingham townsite was first surveyed in 1947.<p>

55.8% of the population are Alaska Natives. A federally recognized tribe is located in the community. Traditionally a Native area, with Russian influences, Dillingham is now a highly mixed population of non-Natives, Eskimos, Aleuts and Indians. The outstanding commercial fishing opportunities in the Bristol Bay area are the focus of the local culture. <p>

During the April 1990 U.S. Census, there were 851 total housing units, and 160 of these were vacant. The median household income was $44,083."


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This page was last updated on 17 July 2012 at 11:52 pm

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