Communications for COVID-19 Introduction The City of Nome prioritizes the health and safety of all community members in our coordinated response to the COVID-19.. Read More
Does the name Nome mean anything to you? If so, keep reading! Nome is located in Alaska, United States. It is the largest city in the Northern Territory and serves as the capital city as well. It is also known as the "City of Light" because of its many street lights which help make it easier to drive at night.
Why is it important who names a city? A city name can tell you something about the people that live there and how they see themselves. In addition to being interesting trivia, these names can also serve as a guide to what makes a city special. For example, when Europeans first arrived in North America, they often named cities after leaders or officials back in Europe. These men usually had some connection to the new land, such as being explorers or politicians. They often chose names like London, Paris, and Rome that would give people hope for the future of these young colonies.
Named after someone? Cities often name streets and parks after famous people or events. This is especially common with landmarks such as museums, libraries, and sports facilities.
With a year-round population of less than 4,000 people, the little village of Nome isn't recognized for being a big economic powerhouse or a tourism destination. In fact, it appears that the strange disappearances of 24 persons between the 1960s and 2004 are what have gotten most people wondering about this secluded town.
Nome is located on Bennett Island, which is part of the Norton Sound archipelago in the northernmost part of Alaska. This island has been the site of various settlements over the years since the 17th century because of its rich fishing grounds and location near the mouth of the Koyukon River. Today, there are still several small mining operations on the island that supply gold to be processed at facilities on the mainland.
The population of Nome has been in steady decline since its peak in 1966, when more than 10,000 people lived here. Since then, only around 4,000 people call this place home, with more than 24 persons having disappeared in the past 50 years! The vast majority of these disappearances occurred between the 1960s and 2004; however, some recent cases have brought back memories of the first few decades after the discovery of gold in 1896.
In April 2007, police arrested Michael James Delaney for kidnapping three women from Nome. They alleged that he had kidnapped them to fulfill a "suicide mission" during Iraq war protests in 2001.
Nome Eskimo Community The Nome Eskimo Community is a federally recognized tribe in the community. Nome's population is a mix of Inupiat Eskimos and non-Natives. Although there are various economic options available, subsistence activities predominate in the community.
The NOME community is located in the northernmost part of Alaska near the Bering Sea at 83 degrees north latitude. It is about 1,500 miles by road from Seattle.
There are only about 5,000 people living in Nome today, but during the gold rush days (1898-1930s) it had a population of up to 100,000. Today, most Nome residents are Native Americans who live off the land by hunting, fishing, and gathering berries.
Nome has one high school which serves about 900 students. The nearest college campus is about an hour and a half drive away in Fairbanks.
There is only one hospital in Nome that has 15 beds. It is run by the federal government and mostly treats Inuit patients from other parts of Alaska.
Most Nome residents work in the tourism industry. There are several museums in town that showcase Alaskan history and art. Also, many cruise ships stop in Nome each year so you can see hundreds of tourists walking around town.
A diphtheria outbreak raged among Alaska Natives in the Nome region during the winter of 1925. The arrival of a life-saving serum by plane from Anchorage was thwarted by blizzard conditions that spanned the whole region. The serum was delivered to Nome, Alaska, by a relay of dog sled teams.
The icy landscape and black sky, as you would imagine, can take their toll on even the most seasoned sourdoughs. But what it does have is some of the most extreme weather in the world. Between 1960 and 2009, Nome experienced over 100 days with wind speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour and 26 days with temperatures below -20 degrees F.
Yet still today, visitors to this very isolated place can see evidence that past generations lived there: brick buildings with wood frames and plaster exteriors, some still bearing their original paint colors (which were often bright and cheerful). There are also several wooden churches that date back to the early 20th century when Catholic priests came to Alaska to build churches out of respect for the majority Christian population before they were sent back to Italy to burn them. Today, only one church remains in operation: the beautiful white St. Mary's Cathedral, which was built between 1930 and 1933.
Outside of town, you'll find the famous Nome Gold Rush Cemetery, where thousands of miners are buried in unmarked graves. During its heyday from 1898 to 1909, Nome was the richest city in America, with annual revenues of $100 million and more than 150 banks.