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Russian Mission

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Russian Mission, known to the Eskimos as Ikogmiut and to the Russians as Kvikhpak, was established by the Russians as a mission in 1845. Most of the other missions were located at trading posts, thus earning the protection of the Russian-American Company, but this mission was separate, located on the Yukon near a portage to the Kuskokwim. As such, it became the base of operations for the one missionary assigned to the vast region of the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim region, Iakov Netsvetov. The first church was built here in 1851.

In 1895, a new large church, approximating a cathedral in size, was constructed by Zachary Bel'kov. The log structure, with a hip-roofed square nave supporting a large octagonal drum, a three-stage bell tower, and a semioctagonal hip-roofed sanctuary, must have presented quite an appearance on the Yukon. It was demolished in 1938–1939 after construction on an adjacent hill of a smaller log church, modest in appearance but nonetheless well designed.

Writing Credits

Alison K. Hoagland

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