Several Native groups have lived in the area, including Koyukon Athabascans and Kobuk, Selawik, and Nunamiut Eskimos from the north and northwest. The Koyukon lived in several camps throughout the year, moving as the seasons changed, following the wild game and fish. Hughes was used as a trade center between Athabascans and Eskimos, but was formally founded and named in 1910 after New York Gov. Charles Hughes. It served as a riverboat landing and supply port for the Indian River gold fields until 1915 when the local mining industry declined. The local Natives stayed on, however, and in a post office was established in 1942. An airstrip was built in the 1950s, a school in 1956, a clinic in 1968, and local roads in 1974. A community-wide electric system was developed in 1981. In September 1994, flood waters destroyed and swept away nearly all of the community's buildings, homes, and food caches for the winter. Residents are rebuilding homes and facilities.
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