Golovin Village, Norton Sound

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Golovin Village, Norton Sound

by | Jun 5, 2020

Golovin is a small community on a point of land between Golovnin Bay and Golovnin Lagoon, on the Seward Peninsula, 82 miles (132 km) northwest of Unalakleet and 52 air miles (84 km) east of Safety, Alaska. Golovin was originally an Iñupiat village called Chiŋik, but was called Golovnin by early Russian traders who named it after Vice-Admiral Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin. Vasily Golovninwho visited Alaska in 1807–1809 to inspect the workings of the Russian-American Company, and again in 1817–1819.

In 1867, the Mission Covenant of Sweden established a church and school south of the current site of Golovin. In about 1890, an employee of the nearby Omalik mines named John Dexter married an Iñupiat woman and established a trading post at Golovin. Dexter became the local authority for prospecting information on the Seward Peninsula. With the discovery of gold in 1898, Golovin became a supply-relay point for the Council goldfields to the north. Supplies were unloaded from ships at Golovin and shipped across Golovnin Lagoon and up the Fish and Niukluk Rivers to Council.

In 1899, the Golovin Post Office was established south of here, probably at Golovin Mission, but it was discontinued in 1904. John Dexter was listed as postmaster. By this time the name “Golovin”, derived from Golovnin Bay and Lagoon, had become well established with only one “n”. Today the village of Golovin is an important checkpoint on the Iditarod Sled Dog Trail and about 65 miles (105 km) from the finish in Nome. Read more here and here. Explore more of Golovin here:

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