Holy Cross first had contact with Europeans in the early 1840s, when Russian explorers led by Lt. Zagoskin traveled the Yukon River. They reported "Anilukhtakpak," with 170 people. In 1880, the village was reported as "Askhomute," with 30 residents. A Catholic mission and school were established in the 1880s by Father Aloysius Robaut, who came to Alaska across the Chilkoot Trail. Ingalik Indians migrated to Holy Cross to be near the mission and school. A post office was opened in 1899 under the name "Koserefsky." In 1912, the name of the town was changed to "Holy Cross," after the mission. In the 1930s and 40s, sternwheelers brought the mail and supplies two or three times a year. The course of the River changed during the 1930s, and by the mid-40s, the slough on which the village is now located was formed. The mission Church and many additional buildings were torn down after the boarding school ceased operations in 1956.
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