Anvik, Alaska

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Anvik is a city, home to the Deg Hit'an people, in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. The name Anvik, which became the common usage despite multiple names at the time, may have come from early Russian explorers. The native name in the Deg Xinag language is Deloy Ges. The population was 104 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The original site was on the other side of the Yukon River, but residents gradually moved to where the Anvik Episcopal mission/school and church were constructed in 1887. A post office was also erected ten years later. There were two influenza epidemics, first in 1918, and again in 1927, which created many orphans. Children came from as far away as Fort Yukon to the mission.

Anvik has been known by many names throughout the years, including: American Station, Anvic, Anvick, Anvig, Anvig Station, and Anwig. Anvik was an Ingalik Indian village which the Russian Andrei Glazanov reported as having several hundred people in 1834 (the population has since been estimated to be over 700). The Native village was originally sited across the Yukon River Northeast of its present location at a place called the point. Every year at breakup, families moved up into the hills from the point.

Village residents recall the sternwheelers which carried supplies to town in the late teens and early 1920's. Some village residents had contracts to cut wood which was utilized for fuel by the sternwheelers. Residents sold fish and furs to traders who arrived by boat.

The early 1930's brought the first arrival of a plane on skis. Regular mail service was established in the mid-thirties when planes with skis and floats arrived at the village. Before the present airstrip was built in the mid-1960's, wheeled aircraft landed on nearby sandbars.

Anvik is also the first checkpoint on the Yukon River for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, when the sled dog race takes a southern route every other year. The church bell is always rung for the first team that arrives.

Geography

Anvik is located at 62°39′20″N 160°12′33″W / 62.65556°N 160.20917°W / 62.65556; -160.20917 (62.655659, -160.209237)[2], west of the Yukon River at the mouth of the Anvik River. It is 34 miles (55 km) to the north of Holy Cross. There is a public Anvik Airport (ANV) with a 2960 ft (902 m) gravel runway located one mile (1.6 km) southeast of downtown Anvik. The students of Blackwell School have created a clickable interactive map of Anvik.

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