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Crooked Creek


Crooked Creek is located on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River at its junction with Crooked Creek. It lies in the Kilbuk-Kuskokwim Mountains 50 miles northeast of Aniak, 141 miles northeast of Bethel, and 275 miles west of Anchorage. It lies at approximately 61░ 52' N Latitude, 158░ 06' W Longitude (Sec. 32, T021N, R048W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 40 sq. miles of land and 3 sq. miles of water.

It was first reported in 1844 by the Russian explorer Zagoskin, who recorded the name of the creek as "Kvikchagpak," or "great bend" in Yup'ik, and as "Khottylno," or "sharp turn" in Ingalik Indian. He noted that the site was used as a summer fish camp for the nearby villagers of Kwigiumpainukamuit. In 1909, a permanent settlement was established as a way station for the Flat and Iditarod gold mining camps. The USGS reported it in 1910 as "Portage Village" because it was at the south end of a portage route up Crooked Creek to the placer mines. In 1914, Denis Parent founded a trading post upriver from the creek mouth, in what would become the "upper village" of Crooked Creek. A post office was opened in 1927 and a school was built in 1928. The "lower village" was settled by Eskimos and Ingalik Indians. By the early 1940s, there was a Russian Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas Chapel, and several homes. The upper and lower portions of the village remain today. Gold production continued through the late 1980s, when Western Gold Mining and Exploration went out of business.




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