2nd Class City
in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (quinn' uh hawk); var. Kwinhagak
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Water Treatment Plant, City Dock, Flush & Haul, Trash Hauler, water/sewer haul
Geography and Climate
- Quinhagak is on the Kanektok River on the east shore of Kuskokwim Bay, less than a mile from the Bering Sea coast. It lies 71 miles southwest of Bethel.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Quinhagak is located in a marine climate. Precipitation averages 22 inches a year, with 43 inches of snowfall. Summer temperatures average 41 to 57 °F, and winter temperatures average 6 to 24 °F. Extremes have been measured from 82 to -34 °F.
History and Culture
- The Yup'ik name is Kuinerraq, meaning "new river channel." Quinhagak is a long-established village whose origin has been dated to 1000 AD. It was the first village on the lower Kuskokwim to have sustained contact with Europeans. Gavril Sarichev reported the village on a map in 1826. After the purchase of Alaska in 1867, the Alaska Commercial Company sent annual supply ships to Quinhagak with goods for Kuskokwim River trading posts. Supplies were lightered to shore from the ship and stored in a building on Warehouse Creek. A Moravian mission was built in 1893. There were many non-Natives in the village at that time; most were waiting for boats to go upriver. In 1904, a mission store opened, followed by a post office in 1905 and a school in 1909. Between 1906 and 1909, over 2,000 reindeer were brought in to the Quinhagak area. They were managed for a time by the Native-owned Kuskokwim Reindeer Company, but the herd had scattered by the 1950s. In 1915, the Kuskokwim River was charted, so goods were barged directly upriver to Bethel. In 1928, the first electric plant opened; the first mail plane arrived in 1934. The city was incorporated in 1975.
- The community is primarily Yup'ik Eskimos who fish commercially and are active in subsistence food gathering.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Kwinhagak
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale, importation, and possession 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.
- Quinhagak relies on air transportation for passenger mail and cargo service. A state-owned gravel airstrip is available. Float planes land on the Kanektok River. A harbor and dock serves barges deliveries of heavy goods at least twice a year. Boats, ATVs, snow machines, and some vehicles are used for local transportation. Winter trails are marked to Eek (39 mi) and Goodnews (39 mi).
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection