Our History

The middle Kuskokwim area first experienced contact with European civilization when the explorer Zagoskin sailed upriver to the vicinity of McGrath in 1844. At the time, Georgetown was known as Keledzhichagat, the site of summer homes for peoples of the nearby village of Kwigiumpai- nukamuit. In 1909, gold was found along the George River near Georgetown, and a mining settlement was formed. Both the river and the settlement were named for the first three traders at the site: George Fredericks, George Morgan and George Hoffman. By the summer of 1910, about 300 prospectors were living in the vicinity. In July of 1911, a fire swept through the settlement, destroying all but 25 of 200 log cabins. Also saved were two general stores in town. By 1953, the only large structure that remained at the site was a two story house that belonged to George Fredericks.

In the 1950’s, a second settlement, also called Georgetown, began emerging on the opposite side of the George River from the earlier community. A state school was established in 1965 and remained until 1970. (Taken from Georgetown Community Profile)

As mining declined, Georgetown members were forced to leave the area due to lack of employment opportunities. It wasn’t until the passage of ANCSA in 1971 and the opportunity to take ownership of ancestral lands, that former Georgetown residents and their descendants had an opportunity to move back home.


Georgetown Tribal Council | 5313 arctic BlvD Ste 104 Anchorage, AK 99518 | phone: 907-274-2195, toll Free 1-888-274-2195              Fax 907-274-2196