1st Class City
in the Nome Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- Community's Judicial District
- Recording District
- Cape Nome
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
Geography and Climate
- Nome was built along the Bering Sea on the south coast of the Seward Peninsula, facing Norton Sound. It lies 539 air miles northwest of Anchorage, a 75-minute flight. It lies 102 miles south of the Arctic Circle and 161 miles east of Russia.
- January temperatures range from -3 to 11 °F; July temperatures are typically 44 to 65 °F. Average annual precipitation is 18 inches, with 56 inches of snowfall.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Malemiut, Kauweramiut, and Unalikmiut Eskimos have occupied the Seward Peninsula historically, with a well-developed culture adapted to the environment. Around 1870 to 1880, the caribou declined on the peninsula and the Eskimos changed their diets. Gold discoveries in the Nome area had been reported as far back as 1865 by Western Union surveyors seeking a route across Alaska and the Bering Sea. But it was a $1500-to-the-pan gold strike on tiny Anvil Creek in 1898 by three Scandinavians, Jafet Lindeberg, Erik Lindblom, and John Brynteson, that brought thousands of miners to the "Eldorado." Almost overnight an isolated stretch of tundra fronting the beach was transformed into a tent-and-log cabin city of 20,000 prospectors, gamblers, claim jumpers, saloon keepers, and prostitutes. The gold-bearing creeks had been almost completely staked, when some entrepreneur discovered the "golden sands of Nome." With nothing more than shovels, buckets, rockers and wheel barrows, thousands of idle miners descended upon the beaches. Two months later the golden sands had yielded one million dollars in gold (at $16 an ounce). A narrow-gauge railroad and telephone line from Nome to Anvil Creek was built in 1900. The City of Nome was formed in 1901. By 1902 the more easily reached claims were exhausted and large mining companies with better equipment took over the mining operations. Since the first strike on tiny Anvil Creek, Nome's gold fields have yielded $136 million. The gradual depletion of gold, a major influenza epidemic in 1918, the Great Depression, and World War II each influenced Nome's population. A disastrous fire in 1934 destroyed most of the city.
- The population of Nome is a mixture of Inupiat Eskimos and non-Natives. Although some employment opportunities are available, subsistence activities are prevalent in the community. Former villagers from King Island also live in Nome. Nome is the finish line for the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage, held each March.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- King Island Native Community, Native Village of Council, Nome Eskimo Community, Village of Solomon
Facilities, Utilities, and Health Care
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Water Delivery, Piped Sewar, Electric, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Harbor/Port, Police, Volunteer Fire/Ambulance, Animal Control, Library, Museum, Recreation Center, Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, Roads, Coastal Management, Schools
- Nome is a regional center of transportation for surrounding villages. The Port of Nome plays an essential role in regional transportation infrastructure. Nome is primarily accessible by air, although containerized household goods, building materials, vehicles, heavy equipment, and all petroleum products arrive by water during summer months. There are 10-12 cargo barges and 8-10 fuel barges/tankers that make scheduled deliveries each season. An additional trans-loading facility in the Inner Harbor was built in 2013 to address congestion at the existing barge ramp and allow more efficient transfers of cargo and rolling stock. The Small Boat Harbor plays host to about 25 commercial fishing vessels and a large offshore mining fleet which at times exceeds capacity. Alaska DOT's Snake River Bridge Replacement Project was completed in 2013 and will facilitate the increased traffic to and from the Port. Two state-owned airports are located in the community. The Nome Airport, located one mile northwest of the City, has two paved runways. Nome City Field, less than one mile north of the City, offers an additional gravel strip. Scheduled jet flights are available, as well as charter and helicopter services. Regional travel is facilitated by a network of 230 miles of gravel roads between Nome and the communities of Teller, Solomon, and Council. A network of winter trails links with outlying communities during winter months.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection
- Community's Senate District
- Community's House District