Location and Climate
Crooked Creek is located on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River at its junction with Crooked Creek. It lies in the Kilbuk-Kuskokwim Mountains 50 miles northeast of Aniak, 141 miles northeast of Bethel, and 275 miles west of Anchorage. The community lies at approximately 61.870000 degrees North Latitude and -158.110830 degrees West Longitude. (Sec. 32, T021N, R048W, Seward Meridian.) Crooked Creek is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. The area encompasses 101.1 square miles of land and 7.4 square miles of water. A continental climate prevails in the area. Snowfall measures 85 inches per year, with total precipitation averaging 17 inches per year. Temperatures range from -59 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. High winds often cause flight delays in the fall and winter. The Kuskokwim is ice-free from mid-June through October.
History, Culture and Demographics
It was first reported in 1844 by the Russian explorer Zagoskin, who recorded the name of the creek as “Kvikchagpak,” or “great bend” in Yup’ik, and as “Khottylno,” or “sharp turn” in Ingalik Indian. He noted that the site was used as a summer fish camp for the nearby villagers of Kwigiumpainukamuit. In 1909, a permanent settlement was established as a weigh station for the Flat and Iditarod gold mining camps. The USGS reported it in 1910 as “Portage Village” because it was at the south end of a portage route up Crooked Creek to the placer mines. In 1914, Denis Parent founded a trading post upriver from the creek mouth, in what would become the “upper village” of Crooked Creek. A post office was opened in 1927, and a school was built in 1928. The “lower village” was settled by Native Alaskans and Ingalik Indians. By the early 1940s there was a Russian Orthodox Church, St. Nicholas Chapel, and several homes. The upper and lower portions of the village remain today. Gold production continued through the late 1980s, when Western Gold Mining and Exploration went out of business. A federally recognized tribe is located in the community, the Native Village of Crooked Creek. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the community consists of 105 people, with 83.81 percent of the population Alaska Native, or part Native. Crooked Creek is a village mixed with residents of Yup’ik Eskimo and Ingalik Athabascan descent, who are reliant on subsistence activities. During the 2000 U.S. Census, total housing units numbered 46, and vacant housing units numbered 8. U.S. Census data for Year 2000 showed 29 residents as employed. The unemployment rate at that time was 42 percent, although 67.78 percent of all adults were not in the work force. The median household income was $17,500, per capita income was $6,495 and 28.08 percent of residents were living below the poverty level.
Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care
All homes lack plumbing; residents haul water and use honeybuckets. A new well provides treated water, and a new washeteria has been completed. The school, store and three homes have individual wells, septic tanks and plumbing. The school septic drainfield is failing. The community needs a new water tank and landfill with access road. Electricity is provided by Middle Kuskokwim Electric Cooperative. There is one school located in the community, attended by 44 students. Local hospitals or health clinics include Crooked Creek Health Clinic (907-432-2222). Crooked Creek is classified as an isolated village, it is found in EMS Region 7A in the Yukon Kuskokwim Region. Emergency services, provided by a health aide, have river and air access.
Current Population: 132 (2007 Estimated Population)
Incorporation Type: Unincorporated
Borough Located in: Unorganized
Taxes: No taking authority
Village of Crooked Creek
P.O. Box 69
Crooked Creek 99575