Nikolski is reputed by some to be the oldest continuously-occupied community in the world. Archaeological evidence from Ananiuliak Island, on the north side of Nikolski Bay, dates as far back as 8,500 years ago. The Chaluka archaeological site, in the village of Nikolski, indicates 4,000 years of virtually continuous occupation. People were living in Nikloski before the pyramids were built, the Mayan calendar was invented, or the Chinese language was written. In 1834, it was the site of sea otter hunting, and was recorded by the Russians as "Recheshnoe," which means "river." In 1920, a boom in fox farming occurred here. The Aleuts became affluent enough to purchase a relatively large boat, the "Umnak Native," which was wrecked in 1933. A sheep ranch was established in 1926 as part of the Aleutian Livestock Company.
In June 1942, when the Japanese attacked Unalaska and seized Attu and Kiska, residents were evacuated to the Ketchikan area. Locals were allowed to return in 1944, but the exposure to the outside world brought about many changes in the traditional lifestyle and community attitudes. In the 1950s, the Air Force constructed a White Alice radar communication site here, which provided some jobs. It was abandoned in late 1977.
To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History, map graphic and photograph used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development