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Deering

Ipnatchiaq
Houses along the Chukchi Sea in Deering
Houses along the Chukchi Sea in Deering
Location in Northwest Arctic Borough and the state of Alaska.
Location in Northwest Arctic Borough and the state of Alaska.
Country United States
State Alaska
Borough Northwest Arctic
Incorporated October 28, 1970
Area
 • Total 5.09 sq mi (13.18 km2)
 • Land 5.02 sq mi (12.99 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.19 km2)
Elevation
7 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 182
 • Density 36.28/sq mi (14.01/km2)
Time zone UTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99736
Area code 907
FIPS code 02-18510
GNIS feature ID 1412894

Deering (Inupiaq: Ipnatchiaq) is a city in the Northwest Arctic Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located on a sandy spit on the Seward Peninsula where the Inmachuk River flows into Kotzebue Sound, 92 km (57 mi) southwest of Kotzebue.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 122, down from 136 in 2000. As of 2003, the city includes a community hall, a clinic run by the U.S. Public Health Service, a post office, a church, two stores, and a National Guard armory.

Culture

The inhabitants are primarily Iñupiat Inuit. The people are active in subsistence. The sale or importation of alcohol is banned in the village.

History

The village was established in 1901 as a supply station for interior gold mining near the historic Malemiut Eskimo village of Inmachukmiut. The name probably comes from the schooner Abbie M. Deering, which was present in the area at that time; see #The Abbie M. Deering. Deering incorporated as a second-class city in 1970. It also has a village council, organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Geography

Deering is located at 66°4′33″N 162°43′6″W / 66.07583°N 162.71833°W / 66.07583; -162.71833 (66.075713, -162.718229).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2), of which, 5.1 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (2.28%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 100
1920 73 −27.0%
1930 183 150.7%
1940 230 25.7%
1950 174 −24.3%
1960 95 −45.4%
1970 85 −10.5%
1980 150 76.5%
1990 157 4.7%
2000 136 −13.4%
2010 122 −10.3%
2020 182 49.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

Deering first appeared on the 1910 U.S. Census as an unincorporated city. It incorporated in 1970.

As of the census of 2000, there were 136 people, 42 households, and 28 families residing in the city. The population density was 26.5 people per square mile (10.2/km2). There were 61 housing units at an average density of 11.9 per square mile (4.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.38% Native American (Iñupiat), 5.88% White, and 0.74% from two or more races.

There were 42 households, out of which 40.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 21.4% were married couples living together, 33.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.90.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 39.7% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 17.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 109.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,333, and the median income for a family was $43,438. Males had a median income of $26,875 versus $25,625 for females. The per capita income for the village was $11,000. None of the families but 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line. No one under the age of 18 or over 64 were living below the poverty line.

The Abbie M. Deering

A first-hand account written by Captain James D. Winchester and published in 1900 tells that the Abbie M. Deering was bought by a company of twenty men who wanted to sail to the "Alaskan Gold Fields" during the Klondike Gold Rush. They left Lynn, Massachusetts in November 1897, passed through the Straits of Magellan, and arrived at San Francisco five months later, where they sold the ship. Records kept by the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior show the schooner did make it to Alaska, where it was lost in the Aleutian Islands in September 1903.

Rudyard Kipling's 1897 novel Captains Courageous mentions the Abbie M. Deering by name.

Education

The Deering School, operated by the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, serves the community. As of 2017 it had 4 teachers and 50 students, with Alaska Natives making up 100% of the student body.

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