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Kotzebue is on the Baldwin Peninsula in Kotzebue Sound, on a 3-mile-long spit, which ranges in width from 1,100 to 3,600 feet. It is located near the discharges of the Kobuk and Noatak Rivers, 549 air miles northwest of Anchorage and 26 miles above the Arctic Circle. It lies at approximately 66░ 54' N Latitude, 162░ 35' W Longitude (Sec. 03, T017N, R018W, Kateel River Meridian). The community is located in the Kotzebue Recording District. The area encompasses 27 sq. miles of land and 18 sq. miles of water.

This site has been occupied by Inupiat Eskimos for at least 600 years. "Kikiktagruk" was the hub of ancient arctic trading routes long before European contact, due to its coastal location near a number of rivers. The German Lt. Otto Von Kotzebue "discovered" Kotzebue Sound in 1818 for Russia. The community was named after the Kotzebue Sound in 1899 when a post office was established. Since the turn of the century, expansion of economic activities and services in the area have enabled Kotzebue to develop relatively rapidly. An Air Force Base and White Alice Communications System were later constructed.




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