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Saint Sergius Russian Orthodox Chapel

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Although this wood-framed, asphalt-sided building was constructed in 1955, it is in the same plan and form as the previous log church, which probably dated from 1891, when the village was founded as a Russian Orthodox mission. The village was abandoned in the 1920s but reoccupied in 1954. The church is in three distinct parts, reflecting interior functions. Most prominent is the nave, 24 feet by 27 feet, with a hipped roof rising to a cupola and onion dome. On the east end is a smaller, rectangular sanctuary with a gable roof and on the west end, a gable-roofed vestibule. Large double doors, reused from the previous church, are sheltered by a gable-roofed porch; there is also a secondary door on the south side of the vestibule. The iconostas, which was also apparently reused from the previous church, has several large oil paintings, and the three-step amvon (platform before the iconostas) adds to its presence.

A new church is currently under construction, intended to replace this one, which has foundation problems. The new church will be of log, the material of the earliest church, but will be rectangular in plan, without the sanctuary denoted on the exterior. Both churches sit on a hill above the village of Chuathbaluk, which recently adopted this Eskimo name, discarding its traditional but diminutive name of Little Russian Mission.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland



Alison K. Hoagland, "Saint Sergius Russian Orthodox Chapel", [Chuathbaluk, Alaska], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Alaska, Alison K. Hoagland. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 276-277.

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