The mouth of the Karluk River is thought to have been populated by Natives for more than 7,000 years. 36 archaeological sites exist in the area. Russian hunters established a trading post here in 1786. At that time, the village was located on both sides of the Karluk River, in the area of Karluk Lagoon. Between 1790 and 1850, many tanneries, salteries and canneries were established in the area. By 1800, Karluk was known for having the largest cannery and the greatest salmon stream in the world. A post office was established in 1892. In the early 1900s, canneries were constructed by the Alaska Packers Association. Over-fishing of the area forced the canneries to close in the late 1930s. After a severe storm in January 1978, the village council decided to relocate the community to the present site, upstream on the south side of the lagoon. HUD constructed 23 houses at the new community location.
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