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Aniak is located on the south bank of the Kuskokwim River at the head of Aniak Slough, 59 miles southwest of Russian Mission in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. It lies 92 air miles northeast of Bethel and 317 miles west of Anchorage. It lies at approximately 61░ 34' N Latitude, 159░ 31' W Longitude (Sec. 12, T017N, R057W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Kuskokwim Recording District. The area encompasses 5 sq. miles of land and 1 sq. miles of water.

Aniak is a Yup'ik word meaning "the place where it comes out," which refers to the mouth of the Aniak River. This river played a key role in the placer gold rush of 1900-01. In 1914, Tom L. Johnson homesteaded the site and opened a store and post office. The Yup'ik village of Aniak had been abandoned long before this time. Eskimos Willie Pete and Sam Simeon brought their families from Ohagamuit to Aniak, which reestablished the Native community. A Russian-era trader named Semen Lukin is credited with the discovery of gold near Aniak in 1932. A Territorial school opened in 1936. Construction of an airfield began in 1939, followed by the erection of the White Alice radar-relay station in 1956, which closed in 1978.




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