Latitude: 64º 30’ 14”
Longitude: -165º 23’ 58”
Current Population: 3,468 (2009 DCCED Certified Population)
Incorporation Type: 1st Class City
Borough Located In: Unorganized
Taxes: Sales: 5%, Property: 7.0 mills, Special: 6% Bed Tax
National Flood Insurance Program Participant: Yes
Coastal Management District: Nome
Location 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. The community lies at approximately 64.501110° North Latitude and -165.406390° West Longitude. (Sec. 26, T011S, R034W, Kateel River Meridian.) Nome is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. The area encompasses 12.5 sq. miles of land and 9.1 sq. miles of water. 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.
History, Culture and Demographics
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.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Nome Eskimo Community. The population of the community consists of 58.7% Alaska Native or part Native. 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. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 1,356, and vacant housing units numbered 172. Vacant housing units used only seasonally numbered 39. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 1,544 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 10.96 percent, although 39.38 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $59,402, per capita income was $23,402, and 6.25 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.
Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care
A well at Moonlight Springs supplies water to the community, which is treated at the Snake River Power Plant and stored in a 50,000-gallon tank. A million-gallon back-up tank is also available. Water is heated and pumped to residences via a wooden utilidor; trucks also deliver water. Sewage is piped from most homes. Over 95% of residences currently have complete plumbing. Some homes still haul their own honeybuckets (service is not provided) and have water delivered to home tanks. Refuse collection services are provided by a contractor that hauls to a landfill on Beam Road. Electricity is provided by Nome Joint Utility Systems. There are 5 schools located in the community, attended by 655 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Norton Sound Regional Hospital; Nome Health Center. The hospital is a qualified Acute Care facility and Medevac Service. Long Term Care: Quyaana Care Center. Specialized Care: XYZ Senior Center. . Emergency Services have limited highway, coastal and airport access. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service and volunteers. Auxiliary health care is provided by Nome Volunteer Ambulance Dept; Norton Sound Health Corp. Medevac.
Economy and Transportation
Nome is the supply, service, and transportation center of the Bering Strait region. Government services provide the majority of employment. In 2009, 42 residents held commercial fishing permits. Retail services, transportation, mining, medical, and other businesses provide year-round income. Several small gold mines continue to provide some employment, and NovaGold Resources, Inc., a large gold mining operation, is developing a mine 8 miles north of Nome. Subsistence activities contribute to the local diet.
Nome is a regional center of transportation for surrounding villages. There are two state-owned airports. The Nome Airport has two paved runways; one is 6,001' long and 150' wide, and the other is 5,576' by 150' wide. Scheduled jet flights are available, as well as charter and helicopter services. The city field offers a 1,950' long by 110' wide gravel airstrip. The entire seaward side of the city is protected by a 3,350-foot-long sea wall of granite boulders. A port and berthing facilities accommodate vessels up to 18 feet of draft. Lighterage services distribute cargo to area communities. Local development groups and the city fund harbor dredging, two seasonal floating docks, and a boat launch. Local roads lead to Teller, Council, and the Kougarok River.
City of Nome
The Nome Nugget – Alaska's Oldest Newspaper
Sources courtesy of: http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/dcra/commdb/CIS.cfm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nome,_Alaska, http://mappery.com/maps/Nome-Alaska-Map.jpg