Koyuk is located at the mouth of the Koyuk River, at the northeastern end of Norton Bay on the Seward Peninsula, 90 air miles northeast of Nome. Koyuk is located in the Cape Nome Recording District. The area encompasses 4.7 sq. miles of land and 0.0 sq. miles of water.
The site of "Iyatayet" on Cape Denbigh to the south has traces of human habitation that are 6,000 to 8,000 years old. Villagers were historically nomadic. Lt. Zagoskin of the Russian Navy noted the village of "Kuynkhak-miut" here in 1842-44. A Western Union Telegraph expedition in 1865 found the village of "Konyukmute." Around 1900, the present townsite, where supplies could easily be lightered to shore, began to be populated. Two boomtowns grew up in the Koyuk region around 1914: Dime Landing and Haycock. The "Norton Bay Station," 40 miles upriver, was established to supply miners and residents in 1915. In addition to gold, coal was mined a mile upriver to supply steam ships and for export to Nome. The first school began in the church in 1915; the U.S. Government built a school in Koyuk in 1928. The city was incorporated in 1970.
A federally-recognized tribe is located in the community -- the Native Village of Koyuk. Koyuk is a traditional Unalit and Malemiut Eskimo village who people speak a dialect of Inupiat Eskimo. Residents maintain a subsistence lifestyle. The sale and importation of alcohol is banned in the village.
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