Alaska Gold Rush History & Genealogy

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.

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