Goodnews is a Yup’ik village at the head of Goodnews Bay, at the mouth of the Goodnews River, about 117 miles (189 km) south of Bethel and 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Platinum, Alaska. The Yup’ik name for the village is Mamterat. A post office called Goodnews Bay was established here in 1930. Alaska Natives from the former village of Mumtrak moved here and a government school was founded. The name “Goodnews” was published in 1937 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The community has historically been devastated by storms and related flooding which forced the village to relocate to higher ground in the 1920s, however, the new site is still threatened by flooding and increasing erosion rates caused by storm surges.
The embayment of Goodnews Bay is about 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Cape Newenham and extends from the mouth of the Goodnews River, southwest for about 10 miles (16 km) to Kuskokwim Bay at North and South Spits. In 1868, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey derived the name “Goodnews Bay” from a translation of the Russian name “Port Dobrykh Vestey”. The name may have originated from Captain Friedrich von Lütke, who in 1836 called it in French “Bonnes Nouvelles Baie,” or “Good News Bay”.
Platinum was first discovered in the Goodnews Bay area in 1926 and supported several small-scale placer mining operations. In 1937, the Goodnews Bay Mining Company began large-scale commercial operations and continued to mine in the area until 1979. During this time the company recovered over 500,000 ounces (14,174 kg) of platinum along with small amounts of gold. Learn more about these platinum deposits here. Read more about Goodnews here and here. Explore more of Goodnews Bay here: