Nome or Sitnasuaq is a city located in Nome Census Area, Alaska. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 3,505.
In the winter of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic among Eskimos in Nome was halted when, during fierce blizzard conditions, a sled team arrived with serum. The sled driver was Gunnar Kaasen and the lead sled dog was Balto. A statue of Balto by F.G. Roth stands near the zoo in Central Park, New York, as does one in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The annual Iditarod sled-dog race commemorates this historic event.
The west coast of Alaska was hunted by Inupiat from prehistoric times. However, there was no permanent settlement there until 1898, when three Swedes, Jafet Lindberg, Erik Lindblöm and John Brynteson, discovered gold on Anvil Creek. News reached the gold fields of the Klondike that winter. By 1899 Nome had a population of 10,000. It was not until gold was discovered in the beach sands in 1899 that news about the gold reached the lower United States. Thousands of people poured into Nome during the spring of 1900 aboard steamships from the ports of Seattle and San Francisco. By 1900, a tent city on the beaches and on the treeless coast reached 48 km (30 miles), from Cape Rodney to Cape Nome.
During the period from 1900 - 1909 estimates of Nome's population reached as high as 20,000. The highest recorded population in of Nome, in the 1900 United State census, was 12,488. At this time, Nome was the largest city in the Alaska Territory.
In February 1899, a group of men who had property and mining claims on the near present-day Nome agreed to change the name of the new mining camp from Nome to Anvil City, because of the confusion with Cape Nome, a point of land located twelve miles from the city and Nome Creek, four miles from Nome. Cape Nome had received its name from a copying error, when a Britsh mapmaker copied an annotation from a map made by a British officer had made on a voyage up the Bering Strait. The officer had written "? Name" next to the unnamed cape. The mapmaker misread the annotation as "C. Nome", or Cape Nome, and used that name on his map. The United States Post Office in Nome refused to change its name to Anvil City and the residents of Anvil City were afraid that the post office would move to Nome City, a mining camp on the Nome River. They voted and unhappily agreed to change the name of Anvil City back to Nome.
Fires in 1905 and 1934 and violent storms in 1900, 1913, 1945 and 1974 destroyed much Nome's gold rush architecture.
During World War II, Nome was the last stop on the ferry system for planes flying from the United States to the Soviet Union for the Lend-lease program. The airstrip currently in use was built and troops were stationed there.
In 1973, Nome became the ending point of the 1049-mile-long (1690 km) Iditarod dog sled race.
Web Sites and Links
City of NomeCity government and visitor center information. Nome is located on the south coast of the Seward Peninsula facing Norton Sound, part of the Bering Sea.
City of Nome Real PropertyReal property database and local links.
City-data.com: Nome, AlaskaGeographic, community, and climate profile.
Dogsled.comNews of dog sledding events, especially the Iditarod, with additional coverage of Nome.
Nome Chamber of CommerceBusiness, economy, and demographic information.
Nome GiftsShops and artists selling native art, crafts, and collectables. General, historical, and pictorial information about Nome.
Nome Joint Utility SystemPower generation, water, and sewer systems information.
Norton Sound Health CorporationServes the health care needs of the Inupiat, Siberian Yupik, and Yup'ik people of the Bering Strait region of northwest Alaska.
Sistnasuak Native CorporationThe largest of the 16 village corporations in the Bering Straits Region, the SNC serves to protect the land and culture of the native shareholders.
The Gold Prospectors AssociationTrip participants will have the chance to prospect and mine the famous beaches of Nome and the Cripple River.