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
- Community's Judicial District
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
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.
- 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.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
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.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Algaaciq Native Village, Yupiit of Andreafski
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale of alcohol is banned.
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- 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
- 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
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District