Scammon Bay, Kun River

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Scammon Bay, Kun River

by | Feb 19, 2020

Scammon Bay is a small community at the base of the Askinuk Mountains on left bank and about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the mouth of the Kun River, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about 147 miles (237 km) northwest of Bethel and 73 miles (118 km) southwest of Emmonak, Alaska. The village is named after the embayment which is 13 miles (21 km) across on the north coast of Cape Romanzof. The bay was named by William Healey Dall in 1870 in honor of Captain Charles M. Scammon, who was the Chief of Marine for the Western Union Telegraph Expedition. The Bering Sea village is also known by the Yup’ik name of Mariak.

The Western Union Telegraph Expedition, also known as the Russian–American Telegraph, was a project in 1865–1867 to lay an electric telegraph line from San Francisco, California to Moscow, Russia. The route was intended to travel from California via Oregon, Washington Territory, the Colony of British Columbia, and Russian America, under the Bering Sea and across Siberia to Moscow, where lines would communicate with the rest of Europe. It was proposed as an alternative to long, deep underwater cables in the Atlantic.

Charles Scammon is also known for discovering the grey whale nursery lagoons on the Baja Peninsula (e.g., Scammon’s Lagoon). This discovery led to the near extinction of the species by commercial whalers. Scammon later wrote several books including The Marine Mammals of the North-western Coast of North America (1874). Read more here and here. Explore more of Scammon Bay here:

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