Alaska Gold Rush History & Genealogy

Located on the west bank of the Yukon River, 35 miles west of Galena and 310 air miles west of Fairbanks. It lies in the Nulato Hills. It lies at approximately 64° 43' N Latitude, 158° 06' W Longitude (Sec. 08, T009S, R004E, Kateel River Meridian). The community is located in the Nulato Recording District.

The Western Union Telegraph Company explored the area around 1867. Nulato was a center of missionary activity, and many area Natives moved to the village after a Roman Catholic mission and school, Our Lady of Snows Mission, was completed in 1887. Epidemics took heavy tolls on Native lives after the onset of the Yukon and Koyukuk gold rush in 1884. For instance, food shortages and a measles epidemic combined to kill as much as one-third of the Nulato population during 1900. In 1900, steamboat traffic peaked, with 46 boats in operation.

Through the turn of the century, two steamers a day would stop at Nulato to purchase firewood. A post office was opened in 1897. Many gold seekers left the Yukon after 1906. Lead mining began in the Galena area in 1919.


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