Point Hope is located near the tip of
Point Hope peninsula, a large gravel spit that forms the western-most
extension of the northwest Alaska coast, 330 miles southwest of Barrow.
It lies at approximately 68░ 21' N Latitude, 166░ 47' W Longitude (Sec.
16, T034N, R035W, Kateel River Meridian). The community is located in
the Barrow Recording District. The area encompasses 6 sq. miles of land
and 0 sq. miles of water.
Hope (Tikeraq) peninsula is one of the oldest continuously occupied
Inupiat Eskimo areas in Alaska. Several settlements have existed on the
peninsula over the past 2,500 years, including Old and New Tigara,
Ipiutak, Jabbertown, and present Point Hope. The peninsula offers good
access to marine mammals, and ice conditions allow easy boat launchings
into open leads early in the spring whaling season. The people were
traditionally aggressive and exercised dominance over an extensive area,
from the Utukok to Kivalina Rivers, and far inland. By 1848, commercial
whaling activities brought an influx of Westerners, many of whom
employed Point Hope villagers. By the late 1880s, the whalers
established shore-based whaling stations, such as Jabbertown. These
disappeared with the demise of whaling in the early 1900s.
In the early 1970s the village moved to a new site just east of the
old village because of erosion and periodic storm-surge flooding. Most
of the housing was moved on runners to the new site. New houses were
constructed by the Borough and individuals.