Unalaska is a first class city in the Aleutians West Census Area. Unalaska overlooks Iliuliuk Bay and Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Chain. It lies 800 air miles from Anchorage (a two- to three-hour flight) and 1,700 miles northwest of Seattle. The name Dutch Harbor is often applied to the portion of the city on Amaknak Island, which is connected to Unalaska Island by bridge. Dutch Harbor is actually within the boundaries of the City of Unalaska.

More than 3,000 Unangan (known since the Russian era as "Aleuts") lived in 24 settlements on Unalaska and Amaknak Islands in 1759. Unalaska became a Russian trading port for the fur seal industry in 1768. In 1787 many hunters and their families were enslaved and relocated by the Russian American Company to the Pribilof Islands to work in the fur seal harvest. In 1825 the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Ascension of Christ was constructed. The founding priest, Ivan Veniaminov, composed the first Aleut writing system with local assistance and translated scripture into Aleut. Since Aleuts were not forced to give up their language or culture by the Russian Orthodox priests, the church became strong in the community. By 1830 and 1840, however, only 200 to 400 Aleuts lived in Unalaska. In 1880 the Methodist church opened a school, clinic, and the Jesse Lee Home for Orphans. The City of Unalaska was incorporated in March 1942. On June 3, 1942, Unalaska was attacked by the Japanese. Almost all of the Aleuts on the Island were interned to Southeast Alaska for the duration of World War II. The Russian Orthodox Church was nearly destroyed by evacuating U.S. Army troops. The church is the oldest Russian Orthodox cruciform-style church in North America.

Unalaska is a rapidly-growing and culturally-diverse community, primarily focused on fishing and fish-processing activities. Subsistence activities are important to the Unangan community and to many long-term non-Native residents, as well.

Governance: Unalaska was incorporated in 1942 and maintains a managerial form of government.  Regular Elections are held on the first Tuesday in October.  Manager: Donald L Moore, Mayor: Shirley Marquardt  

Infrastructure:

  • State-owned 3,900' long by 100' wide paved runway
  • A seaplane base is also available.
  • The state ferry operates bi-monthly from Kodiak between April and October.
  • There are ten major docks in Unalaska; three are operated by the city.
  • The International Port of Dutch Harbor serves fishing vessels and shipping, with 5,200' of moorage and 1,232' of floating dock.
  • The small boat harbor provides 238 moorage slips.
  • The Unalaska Marine Center and US Coast Guard Dock offer cargo, passenger, and other port services.

Education: The schools of Unalaska are members of the Unalaska City School District.

Eagle's View Elementary School

Grade: P thru 6

229 students; 19 teachers

Unalaska Jr./Sr. High School

Grade: 7 thru 12

 188 students; 13 teachers

Superintendent: John Conwell

 

Contacts:

City of Unalaska

P.O. Box 610

Unalaska, AK 99685-0610

Mayor - Shirley Marquardt

ph: (907) 581-1251

City Manager - Donald L Moore

ph: (907) 581-1602

 

Ounalaska Corporation

P.O. Box 149

Unalaska, AK 99685

President/CEO - Wendy Svarny-Hawthorne

ph: (907) 581-1276

 

Qawalangin Tribal Council

P.O. Box 334

Unalaska, AK 99685

President - Thomas C Robinson

ph: (907) 581-2920

 

Utilities:

Director of Public Works - Nancy Peterson

Director of Public Utilities - Dan Winters

P.O. Box 610 (same contact information for both Directors)

Unalaska, AK 99685

ph: (907) 581-1260

 

Projects:

Download a listing of projects submitted by the City of Unalaska for inclusion in the Southwest Alaska Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Download Unalaska Projects List