2nd Class City
in the Nome Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
- Cape Nome
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewar, Honey Bucket Hauling, Washeteria, Electric (AVEC) Health Clinic, Police, Volunteer Fire, Search and Rescue, Roads, Dock, Equipment & Truck Rentals
Geography and Climate
- St. Michael is located on the east coast of St. Michael Island in Norton Sound. It lies 125 miles southeast of Nome and 48 miles southwest of Unalakleet.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- St. Michael has a subarctic climate with maritime influences during the summer. Summer temperatures average 40 to 60 °F; winters average -4 to 16 °F. Extremes from -55 to 70 °F have been recorded. Annual precipitation averages 12 inches, with 38 inches of snow. Summers are rainy, and fog is common. Norton Sound is ice free from early June to mid-November.
History and Culture
- A fortified trading post called "Redoubt St. Michael" was built by the Russian-American Company at this location in 1833; it was the northernmost Russian settlement in Alaska. The Native village of "Tachik" stood to the northeast. When the Russians left Alaska in 1867, several of the post's traders remained. "Fort St. Michael," a U.S. military post, was established in 1897. During the gold rush of 1897, it was a major gateway to the interior via the Yukon River. As many as 10,000 persons were said to live in St. Michael during the gold rush. St. Michael was also a popular trading post for Eskimos to trade their goods for Western supplies. Centralization of many Yup'iks from the surrounding villages intensified after the measles epidemic of 1900 and the influenza epidemic of 1918. The village remained an important trans-shipment point until the Alaska Railroad was built. The city government was incorporated in 1969.
- St. Michael's population is largely Yup'ik Eskimo today, and many residents are descendants of Russian traders. Seal, beluga whale, moose, caribou, fish, and berries are important staples.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Saint Michael
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Saint Michael is accessible by air and sea only. The state owns a gravel airstrip, and a seaplane base is available. Regular and charter flights are available from Nome and Unalakleet. It is near the Yukon River Delta and has a good natural harbor but no dock. Lighterage service is provided on a frequent basis from Nome. Saint Michael receives at least one annual shipment of bulk cargo. A 10.5-mile road exists to Stebbins.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection