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
- Water Delivery, Watering Point, Honeybucket Hauling, Washeteria, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Police (VPO), Volunteer Fire, Community Hall, Roads, Bingo
Geography and Climate
- Teller is located on a spit between Port Clarence and Grantley Harbor, 72 miles northwest of Nome, on the Seward Peninsula.
- The climate is maritime when ice-free and then changes to a continental climate after freezing. Grantley Harbor is generally ice-free from early June to mid-October. Average summer temperatures range from 44 to 57 °F; winter temperatures average -9 to 8 °F. Extremes have been measured from -45 to 82 °F. Annual precipitation averages 11.5 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The Eskimo fishing camp called "Nook" was reported 20 miles south of Teller in 1827. A Western Union Telegraph expedition wintered at the present site in 1866 and 1867; it was then called "Libbyville" or "Libby Station." The Teller Reindeer Station was operated by the U.S. Government at a nearby site from 1892 to 1900. The station was named in 1892 by Sheldon Jackson for U.S. Senator and Secretary of the Interior Henry Moore Teller. Teller Mission, a Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran mission, was built in 1900 across the harbor at the current site of Brevig Mission. It was renamed Brevig Mission in 1903, after Reverend T.L. Brevig. Present-day Teller was also established in 1900 after the Bluestone Placer Mine discovery 15 miles to the south. During these boom years, Teller had a population of about 5,000 and was a major regional trading center, attracting Natives from Diomede, Wales, Mary's Igloo, and King Island. In May 1926, bad weather caused the dirigible "Norge" to detour to Teller on its first flight over the North Pole from Norway to Nome. A city was formed in 1963.
- Teller is a traditional Kawerak Eskimo village with a subsistence lifestyle. Many residents today were originally from Mary's Igloo. Seals, beluga whales, fish, reindeer, and other local resources are utilized. A herd of reindeer roam the area.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Mary's Igloo, Native Village of Teller
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale of alcohol is banned.
- 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.
- Teller has a road link to Nome from May to September via a 72-mile gravel road. The community can also be accessed by sea and air. There is a state-owned gravel runway with regular flights from Nome. There is no dock; goods are lightered from Nome and offloaded on the beach. Port Clarence is a nearby natural harbor.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection