2nd Class City
in the Yukon-Koyukuk 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
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permit Holders
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permits Issued
- CDQ Participant
- CQE Eligible
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Watering Point, Piped Sewar, Washeteria, Electric(AVEC), Landfill, Health Clinic, Volunteer Fire, Dock, Community Hall, Roads, Bingo/Pull Tabs
Geography and Climate
- Holy Cross is located in Interior Alaska on the west bank of Ghost Creek Slough off the Yukon River. It is 40 miles northwest of Aniak and 420 miles southwest of Fairbanks.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The climate of Holy Cross is continental. Temperature extremes range from -62 and 93 °F. Annual snowfall averages 79 inches, with 19 inches of total precipitation per year. The Yukon river is ice-free from June through October.
History and Culture
- Holy Cross first had contact with Europeans in the early 1840s, when Russian explorers led by Lt. Zagoskin traveled the Yukon River. They reported on "Anilukhtakpak," which had 170 people. In 1880, the village was reported as "Askhomute" with 30 residents. A Catholic mission and school were established in the 1880s by Father Aloysius Robaut, who came to Alaska across the Chilkoot Trail. Ingaliks migrated to Holy Cross to be near the mission and school. A post office was opened in 1899 under the name "Koserefsky." In 1912, the name of the town was changed to "Holy Cross" after the mission. In the 1930s and 40s, sternwheelers brought the mail and supplies two or three times a year. The course of the river changed during the 1930s, and, by the mid-40s, the slough on which the village is now located was formed. The mission church and many additional buildings were torn down after the boarding school ceased operations in 1956. The city government was incorporated in 1968.
- Holy Cross is an Ingalik village. Subsistence and fishing-related activities are important to residents.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik, Deg Hit'an
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Holy Cross Village
- 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.
- The community is dependent upon air and boat transportation. The state owns and operates a 4 gravel airstrip. Groceries and small items are shipped in by airplane. Holy Cross is serviced by barge in the summer. Residents use boats for fishing, subsistence, and recreation. The 7.5 miles of local roads are used by 3-wheelers, motor bikes, snow machines, and dog teams.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection