Early Eskimos on the islands were fearless men of the ice and sea, with an advanced culture practicing elaborate whale hunting ceremonies. They traded with both continents. The islands were named in 1728 by Vitus Bering in honor of Saint Diomede. The 1880 Census counted 40 people, all Ingalikmiut Eskimos, in the village of "Inalet." When the Iron Curtain was formed, Big Diomede became a Soviet military base and all Native residents were moved to mainland Russia. During World War II, Little Diomede residents who strayed into Soviet waters were taken captive.
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