White Mountain, Alaska

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White Mountain is a city in Nome Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population is between 220 and 250. The city is an Iġaluiђmuit (Fish River tribe) Iñupiat village, with historical influences from and relationships with Kawerak and Yupiaq Eskimos. 86.2% of the population is Alaska Native or part Native. Subsistence activities are prevalent. White Mountain is the only village on the Seward Peninsula located inland, not on the ocean.

Contents

History

The area that is present day White Mountain began as the Eskimo fish camp Nachirvik which means "mountain look-up point." The bountiful resources of both the Niukluk and the Fish Rivers supported the Native populations there. The community grew with the influx of white prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush. The first non-Native structure was a warehouse built by the miner Charles Lane to store supplies for his claim in the Council District. It was the site of a government-subsidized orphanage, which became an industrial school in 1926. The Covenant Church was built in 1937. A Russian Orthodox Church was built about 1920 (although no longer utilized, the church log cabin building is still standing). A post office was opened in 1932. The tribal government re-organized under the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) in 1939. The city was incorporated in 1969.

Today, White Mountain is most notable as the last of three mandatory rest stops for teams competing in the annual Iditarod. All mushers are required to take an 8-hour rest stop at White Mountain before making the final push to the end of the race, 99 miles (159 km) away in Nome.

Geography

White Mountain is located at 64°40′51″N 163°24′24″W / 64.68083°N 163.40667°W / 64.68083; -163.40667 (64.680856, -163.406538)[1]. The city is located on the eastern bank of the Fish River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km²), of which 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) (11.82%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 203 people, 69 households, and 46 families residing in the city. The population density was 113.7 people per square mile (44.0/km²). There were 75 housing units at an average density of 42.0/sq mi (16.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 13.30% White, 83.74% Native American, 0.49% from other races, and 2.46% from two or more races. 0.49% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

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