Belkofski, Moss Cape

Belkofski, Moss Cape

by | Jun 28, 2019

Belkofski is an abandoned community on the south coast of the Alaska Peninsula, about 11 miles (18 km) east-northeast of King Cove, and 62 miles (100 km) southwest of Sand Point, Alaska. Belkofski was an Aleut village first reported in 1847 on Russian Hydrographic Department Charts. The name “Selo Belkovskoe” is from “belka” meaning “squirrel”. The community is located between Moss Cape and Belkofski Point, on a peninsula between Belkofski Bay and Volcano Bay. The latter was named by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1880 for its proximity to Pavlof Volcano.

Russians originally settled Aleuts at Belkofski in 1823 to hunt sea otters in the reefs and islands off the south coast of the Alaska Peninsula. In the mid to late 1800s, it was the area’s most important village and had a Russian Orthodox church. At the height of the fur trade, in the 1880s, Belkofski had three stores, and residents imported building materials and furniture from San Francisco.

When the sea otters were hunted to extinction, the community declined, and many people moved to the neighboring communities of Sand Point and King Cove. When the last Belkofski residents moved away in the early 1980s, they took the church’s bell and icons with them and built a new Orthodox church at King Cove. Belkofski is now used as a summer fishing camp by King Cove residents and other Unanga people. Read more here and here. Explore more of Belkofski here:

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