Located on the Kuskokwim River near the west coast of Alaska, 340
miles (550 km) west of Anchorage. Accessible only by air and river.
Bethel, at its original location, was a Yup'ik It was an Alaska
Commercial Company trading post during the late 19th century. It
had a population of 41 people in the 1880 U.S. Census. The Moravian
Church established a mission in the area in 1885, under the leadership
of Rev. John Henry Kilbuck, Jr. Missionaries moved Bethel to its
present location on the west side of the Kuskokwim River. A United
States Post Office was opened in 1905.