The History of Togiak

Togiak is located at the head of Togiak Bay, 67 miles west of Dillingham. It lies in Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and is the gateway to Walrus Island Game Sanctuary. It lies at approximately 59 04' N Latitude, 160 24' W Longitude (Sec. 12, T013S, R067W, Seward Meridian). The community is located in the Bristol Bay Recording District. The area encompasses 45 sq. miles of land and 127 sq. miles of water.

In 1880, "Old Togiak," or "Togiagamute," was located across the Bay, and had a population of 276. Heavy winter snowfalls made wood-gathering difficult at Old Togiak, so gradually people settled at a new site on the opposite shore, where the task was easier. Many residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim region migrated south to the Togiak area after the devastating influenza epidemic in 1918-19. A school was established in an old church in 1950. A school building and a National Guard Armory were constructed in 1959. Togiak was flooded in 1964, and many fish racks and stores of gas, fuel oil and stove oil were destroyed. Three or four households left Togiak after the flood and developed the village of Twin Hills upriver.


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