Kashega, Unalaska Island

Kashega, Unalaska Island

by | Dec 19, 2018

Kashega is an abandoned Unangan village on the Bering Sea coast of Unalaska Island, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The village is named after Kashega Bay and was first published on a chart by Lieutenant Sarichev of the Imperial Russian Navy, as “Selo Koshiga” meaning “Koshiga Village”. In 1831 it was the headquarters of the foreman for the Russian American Company on the west coast of Unalaska Island.

In the summer of 1942, following the Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor, 881 residents of the Aleutian Islands, almost all of them Unangan, were transported to Southeast Alaska. They were first moved to the grounds of a government-run Native boarding school in Wrangell, and then twenty residents from Kashega were sent to a camp at Ward Lake near Ketchikan.

In April 1945, eighteen former Kashega residents returned to the Aleutians. Some families were split apart by economic or health concerns, such as hospitalization for tuberculosis, and some had died during their internment. Only a few decided to return to Kashega. Two Kashega men made a sustained attempt to resettle their former village, but they eventually left and moved to the community of Unalaska at Dutch Harbor. The village was finally abandoned in the 1950s. Only depressions from former houses and the remains of a few wooden structures are visible today. Read more here and here. Explore more of Kashega here:

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