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Council is located at the terminus of the Nome/Council road, 60 miles northeast of Nome. It lies on left bank of the Niukluk River.

Historically, this was a fish camp for the Fish River Tribe, who originally lived 12 miles downstream. Council's history is synonymous with the gold rush period. Gold was first discovered in the area by Daniel B. Libby and party in 1897. By 1898 there were 50 log houses. The gold found at Ophir Creek was the second richest claim in the world. During the summers of 1897-99, the population of "Council City" was estimated at 15,000. It had a hotel, wooden boardwalks, a 20-bed hospital, a post office, and numerous bars. The discovery of more gold at Nome in 1900 caused many of the boomers to leave Council. However, the population in 1910 was 686. The depletion of gold, the flu epidemic of 1918, the depression, and World War II all contributed to the decline of the population. By 1950, only nine people remained. The post office closed in 1953. Today, the community is not occupied year-round. The community is primarily a summer fish camp site for Nome residents.

Council is a seasonal fish camp. Several Nome residents have homes in Council, used for summer subsistence food-gathering activities. Council is connected by road to Nome. There is a state-owned 3,000' long by 60' wide gravel airstrip, but it is not maintained in the winter. Air charter services are available from Nome. Dogsleds and snowmachines are the main means of transportation during the winter.