The plywood-covered Saint Michael the Archangel Church is a humble shelter for the spectacular icons inside. The icons were obtained from the Russian Orthodox church at Saint Michael on Norton Sound and appear to be among the oldest in Alaska.
Because the Yukon River is so braided at its mouth, Saint Michael served as an important access point to the river. Ocean-going vessels were anchored at Saint Michael, a sheltered harbor. Travelers then portaged over to the Yukon or, later in the nineteenth century, transferred to river-going steamboats for the journey to the river mouth, and up the river. The Russians established a post at Saint Michael in the 1830s and in 1886 built
Named after Woodrow Wilson's first vice president, Marshall was a gold-rush town that experienced its big rush in 1913. The village is now inhabited almost entirely by Eskimos, who have moved in from surrounding villages. Marshall had no Russian Orthodox church before this one was built in 1960; the icons were moved from Ohogamiut at that time.