Bristol Bay Borough
borough is up for adoption...
The Bristol Bay Borough in Southwestern Alaska was
incorporated as the state's first borough in 1962. With only 505 square miles,
it is geographically the smallest census area in the state. Naknek is the
borough seat. Population is 1,159.
The region was first
settled by Athabascan Indians, Central Yup'ik Eskimos and Sugpiaq
(Aleut-Russian) Eskimos. Hunting and fishing camps along the Naknek River date
from 3,000 to 4,000 B.C. In 1818, the first Russian traders arrived. Two years
later, the first Russian settlement was established, and in 1841, the Russian
Orthodox Mission was built at Nushagak. The Russians explored and maintained
dominance of the area until the U.S. purchase of Alaska in 1867. U.S. interests
were directed primarily at the fur and fishery potential of the region. In 1883,
the first salmon cannery in Bristol Bay was opened. In 1890, the first cannery
on the Naknek River was opened. Commercial salmon remain the region's primary
industry. During World War II, King Salmon Air Force Base was developed.
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