UNALASKA - GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF UNALASKA

Unalaska (Aleut: Iluulux̂) is a city in the Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 212.3 square miles (549.9 km2), of which, 111.0 square miles (287.5 km2) of it is land and 101.3 square miles (262.4 km2) of it (47.71%) is water.

Makushin Volcano (5,691 ft/1,735 m) is located on the island; it is not quite visible from within the town of Unalaska, though the steam rising from its cone is visible on a (rare) clear day. Denizens of Unalaska need only to climb one of the smaller hills in the area, such as Pyramid Peak or Mt. Newhall, to get a good look at the snow-covered cone.

Unalaska, the 11th largest city in Alaska, is a bustling community of about 4,000 residents located along the Aleutian Chain, approximately 800 miles southwest of Anchorage. Dutch Harbor, the official name of the city's port, is often applied to the portion of the City of Unalaska located on Amaknak Island, which is connected by bridge to the rest of the community on Unalaska Island. Unalaska's economy is based on commercial fishing, fish processing, fleet services, and transportation. Because it is centrally located in the North Pacific directly on shipping routes between the West Coast and Pacific Rim nations, the city enjoys a strategic position near the center of the nation's most productive fishing grounds and is the hub of the transshipment of cargo between Pacific Rim trading partners.

The population was 4,283 at the 2000 census. Almost all of the community's port facilities are on Amaknak Island, better known as Dutch Harbor or just "Dutch". It is the largest fisheries port in the U.S. by volume caught. It includes Dutch Harbor Naval Operating Base and Fort Mears, U.S. Army, a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Dutch Harbor lies within the city limits of Unalaska and is connected to Unalaska by a bridge. Amaknak Island is home to almost 59 percent of the city's population, although it has less than 3 percent of its land area.

The Aleut or Unangan have lived on Unalaska Island for thousands of years. The Russian fur trade reached Unalaska when Stepan Glotov and his crew arrived on August 1, 1759. The Unangan people, who were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, named it "Ounalashka" meaning ‘Near the Peninsula’. The regional native corporation has adopted this moniker, and is known as the Ounalashka Corporation. Dutch Harbor was so named by the Russians because they believed that a Dutch vessel was the first European ship to enter the harbor.

http://unalaska-ak.us/
Wikipedia

Luciano Mende

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