Unalakleet is located on Norton Sound at
the mouth of the Unalakleet River, 148 miles southeast of Nome and 395
miles northwest of Anchorage. It lies at approximately 63░ 52' N
Latitude, 160░ 47' W Longitude (Sec. 03, T019S, R011W, Kateel River
Meridian). The community is located in the Cape Nome Recording District.
The area encompasses 3 sq. miles of land and 2 sq. miles of water.
have dated house remnants along the beach ridge from 200 B.C. to 300
A.D. The name Unalakleet means "place where the east wind blows."
Unalakleet has long been a major trade center as the terminus for the
Kaltag Portage, an important winter travel route connecting to the Yukon
River. Indians on the upper river were considered "professional" traders
who had a monopoly on the Indian-Eskimo trade across the Kaltag Portage.
The Russian-American Company built a post here in the 1830s. In 1898,
reindeer herders from Lapland were brought to Unalakleet to establish
sound herding practices. In 1901, the Army Signal Corps built over 605
miles of telegraph line from St. Michael to Unalakleet, over the Portage
to Kaltag and Fort Gibbon.