1st Class City
in the Wade Hampton Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- a.k.a. Algaaciq; includes Andreafsky
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Watering Point, Piped Sewar, Honey Bucket Hauling, Electric (AVEC), Refuse Collection, Landfill, Police, Volunteer Fire, Search & Rescue, Port/Dock, Gravel Sales, Roads, Bingo, Parks & Recreation, Kumeluvik Building , Equipment Rentals, Schools
Geography and Climate
- St. Mary's is located on the north bank of the Andreafsky River, 5 miles from its confluence with the Yukon River. It lies 450 air miles west-northwest of Anchorage. The City of St. Mary's encompasses the Yup'ik villages of St. Mary's and Andreafsky.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The climate is continental with a significant maritime influence. Temperatures range between -44 and 83 °F. Annual precipitation averages 16 inches, with 60 inches of snowfall. The Yukon is ice-free from June through October.
History and Culture
- In 1899, Andreafsky was established as a supply depot and winter headquarters for the Northern Commercial Company's riverboat fleet. The village took its name from the Andrea family which settled on the river and built a Russian Orthodox church. In 1903, Jesuit missionaries set up a mission 90 miles downriver at "Akulurak" to educate and care for the children orphaned by the flu epidemic of 1900-01. Akulurak means "in between place," aptly describing the village, which was on an island in a slough connecting two arms of the Yukon River. The mission school flourished, and by 1915 there were 70 full-time students. Over the years, the slough surrounding Akulurak silted in severely. In 1948, the villagers decided to move to higher ground. Materials from an abandoned hotel built during the gold rush were used to construct the new mission and several village homes at the present site. In 1949, an unused 15' by 30' building and other building materials from Galena Air Force Station were barged to Saint Mary's by Father Spills, a Jesuit priest. These materials, along with a tractor borrowed from Holy Cross, were used to construct a school. During the 1950s, a number of Yup'ik families moved into the Andreafsky area, only a short distance from the mission. Dormitories and a large house for the Jesuits were built during the 1960s. In 1967, the area adjacent to the mission incorporated as the City of St. Mary's, although Andreafsky chose to remain independent. In 1980, the residents of Andreafsky voted for annexation into the city. In 1987, the Catholic church closed the mission school.
- St. Mary's is a Yup'ik Eskimo community that maintains a fishing and subsistence lifestyle.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Algaaciq Native Village, Yupiit of Andreafski
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale of alcohol is banned.
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Saint Mary's is served by barge and aircraft. The state-owned gravel runway with a crosswind strip provides year-round access. The airfield is capable of receiving large jet aircraft. A 22-mile road links St. Mary's to Andreafsky, Pitka's Point, and Mountain Village. They are not maintained during winter months but are used by snow machines. Plans are in place to upgrade the road from Saint Mary's to Mountain Village in the summer of 2014. When this project is complete the road will be available for use year round. The Andreafsky River provides the only deep-water dock in the area.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection