Nikolai is an Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan village, and has been relocated at least twice since the 1880s. One of the former sites was reported in 1899 to have a population of six males. The present site was established around 1918. Nikolai was the site of a trading post and roadhouse during the gold rush. It was situated on the Rainy Pass Trail, which connected the Ophir gold mining district to Cook Inlet. It became a winter trail station along the Nenana-McGrath Trail, which was used until 1926. By 1927, the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church was constructed. In 1948, a private school was established, and in 1949, a post office opened. Local residents cleared an airstrip in 1963, which heralded year-round accessibility to the community.
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