Telida, Alaska


Telida, Alaska

Telida is an unincorporated village located in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. It has a population of 2 people.

Geography

Telida is located at coord|62|14|N|153|10|W| GR|1.

Telida is located on the south side of the Swift Fork (McKinley Fork) of the Kuskokwim River, about 400 km (250 miles) by air northeast of McGrath.

"Telida" means "whitefish" in Athabascan.

History

Athabascan folklore says that Telida's residents are descended from two sisters, survivors of an attack by another Athabascan group, who fled from the McKinley area to Telida Lake where they discovered whitefish at its outlet. The women were later discovered by stragglers from the attacking party, who married the women and settled at the lake. The village of Telida is named after the lake.

The village has been located in three different places. The first village was located about 2 km (1 mile) upstream from present-day Telida. It was first visited by United States army explorers in 1899. When the Swift Fork changed course, the village was moved what is now called "Old Telida." In 1916, some residents moved to the present day site, "New Telida," about 7 km (4 miles) downstream from Old Telida. A Russian Orthodox church, St. Basil the Great, was built in Old Telida in 1918. A roadhouse was also built during this period. In 1920-21, Old Telida was a stopping point on the trail between McGrath and Nenana and hundreds of people used the roadhouse. In 1935, Old Telida flooded and the remaining residents relocated to New Telida.

In 1958, a fire burned an area in which the villagers constructed an airstrip. Many families moved to Takotna during the school year and lived in Telida only during summer months. A school was built in Telida in the 1970s, but the population has declined to almost nothing since.

References


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