Chuathbaluk is located on the north bank
of the Kuskokwim River, 11 miles upriver from Aniak in the Kilbuk-Kuskokwim
mountains. It is 87 air miles northeast of Bethel and 310 miles west of
Anchorage. It lies at approximately 61░ 34' N Latitude, 159░ 13' W
Longitude (Sec. 10, T017N, R055W, Seward Meridian). The community is
located in the Kuskokwim Recording District. The area encompasses 4 sq.
miles of land and 2 sq. miles of water.
was the site of an Ingalik Indian summer fish camp in the mid-1800s. The
village has been known as Chukbak, St. Sergius Mission, Kuskokwim
Russian Mission, and Little Russian Mission. The village was often
confused with Russian Mission on the Yukon, so in the 1960s the name was
changed to Chuathbaluk, which is derived from the Yup'ik word "Curapalek,"
meaning "the hills where the big blueberries grow." The Russian Orthodox
church built the St. Sergius Mission by 1894, and residents of Kukuktuk
from 20 miles downriver moved to the mission. Tragically, much of the
village was lost in an influenza epidemic in 1900. By 1929, the site was
deserted, although Russian Orthodox members continued to hold services
at the mission. In 1954, the Sam Phillips family from Crow Village
resettled the mission, and were joined later by individuals from Aniak
and Crooked Creek. The Church was rebuilt in the late 1950s, and a state
school opened in the 1960s.