Rev. Octavius Parker and Rev. John Chapman established an Episcopal mission near here in 1887. Recognizing that they had established the mission on an eroding site, they moved it the next year to a site about 2 miles down the Yukon to the mouth of the Anvik River. By 1889, when Parker left, they had a sawmill and had begun constructing buildings.
Included with the mission's role was that of school and hospital. The Episcopalians operated a boarding school at Anvik, attracting children from the region until the 1950s. One of the first female doctors in Alaska, Dr. Mary Glanton, was stationed here, arriving in 1894. The Natives gradually moved their village closer to the mission, constructing log cabins and abandoning their traditional semisubterranean houses.