The History of Nelson Lagoon

Nelson Lagoon is located on the northern coast of the Alaska Peninsula, on a narrow sand spit that separates the lagoon from the Bering Sea. It is 580 miles southwest of Anchorage. It lies at approximately 56 00' N Latitude, 161 00' W Longitude (Sec. 25, T048S, R077W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Aleutian Islands Recording District. The area encompasses 245 sq. miles of land and 197 sq. miles of water.

Nelson Lagoon has been used historically as an Aleut summer fish camp. The resources of the lagoon and nearby Bear River are excellent. The lagoon was named in 1882 for Edward William Nelson of the U.S. Signal Corps, an explorer in the Yukon Delta region between 1877 and 1920. A salmon saltery operated from 1906 to 1917, which attracted Scandinavian fishermen, but there has been no cannery since. In 1965 a school was built and the community began to be occupied year-round.


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