is located on Sarichef Island, in the Chukchi Sea, just north of Bering
Strait. It is five miles from the mainland, 126 miles north of Nome and
100 miles southwest of Kotzebue. Shishmaref is surrounded by the 2.6
million acre Bering Land Bridge National Reserve. It has been proposed
to become part of the Beringian National Heritage Park, endorsed by
Presidents Bush and Gorbachev in 1990. It lies at approximately 66░ 15'
N Latitude, 166░ 04' W Longitude (Sec. 23, T010N, R035W, Kateel River
Meridian). The community is located in the Cape Nome Recording District.
The area encompasses 3 sq. miles of land and 5 sq. miles of water.
The original Eskimo name for the island
is "Kigiktaq." In 1816, Lt. Otto Von Kotzebue named the inlet "Shishmarev,"
after a member of his crew. Excavations at "Keekiktuk" by archaeologists
around 1821 provided evidence of Eskimo habitation from several
centuries ago. After 1900, when a supply center was established to serve
gold mining activities on the Seward Peninsula, the village was renamed
after the Inlet. A post office was established in 1901. During October
1997, a severe storm eroded over 30 feet of the north shore, threatening
the loss of 14 homes, and destroying many winter food caches. The 14
homes were relocated way from the new bluff, however, the City will need
a protective seawall to prevent additional damage.