June 20, 2010

Dillingham, Alaska

Dillingham, Alaska...

is a city in Southwest Alaska, located on Nushagak Bay, which is an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea.

Inhabited by the Yupik people, the area became a trade center when Russians built a post there in 1818. First known as Nushagak, after the Nushagak River, different groups from all over Southeast and Central Alaska came to this post to trade or live.

When Alaska was purchased by the United States in 1881, a weather station was built at Nushagak and in 1884 (100 years before I was born), the first salmon cannery in the Bristol Bay region was constructed near modern-day Dillingham. By 1900 ten more canneries were built. In 1904 this area became known as Dillingham, after U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham.

Interestingly, in 1918 and 1919, an influenza epidemic left no more than 500 survivors around Dillingham. A hospital and orphanage were established in Kanakanak after the epidemic, which is south of Dillingham.

(Thank you to Wikipedia and the community of Dillingham for that information.)

Now with a population of just under 2,500 residents, the main industry around Dillingham are fishing and canning, sport fishing, and tourism.

The first night we ate dinner at Eagle Restaurant. It was very good. They made everything home made with fresh ingredients.

Taking pictures in Dillingham.

On the beach!

Still showing support. I had to take a picture.

We also at dinner at Muddy Rudder, a restaurant only open in the summer months. It was also very tasty.

We had the privilege of being driven to Lake Aleknagik, which sits between Dillingham and the city of Aleknagik. Aleknagik is actually about 16 miles northwest of Dillingham and is the only regional community with a road link from Dillingham.

A float plane sitting on Lake Aleknagik.

This is indeed the area where former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash in early August.

Leaving Dillingham...