Historically, this was a fish camp for the Fish River Tribe, who originally lived 12 miles downstream. Council's history is synonymous with the gold rush period. Gold was first discovered in the area by Daniel B. Libby and party in 1897. By 1898, there were 50 log houses. The gold found at Ophir Creek was the second richest claim in the world. During the summers of 1897-99, the population of "Council City" was estimated at 15,000. It had a hotel, wooden boardwalks, a 20-bed hospital, a post office and numerous bars. The discovery of more gold at Nome in 1900 caused many of the boomers to leave Council. However, the population during 1910 was 686. The depletion of gold, the flu epidemic of 1918, the depression, and World War II all contributed to the decline of the population. By 1950, only nine people remained. The post office was closed in 1953. Today, the community is not occupied year-round.
To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development