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Kijik, Alaska facts for kids

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Kijik Archeological District
Kijik Archaeological District (20357937598).jpg
Scenery in the district
Location Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States
Nearest city Nondalton, Alaska
Area 1,920 acres (780 ha)
NRHP reference No. 94001644
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 12, 1994
Designated NHLD October 12, 1994

Kijik is a ghost town in Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. An Athabascan village that was established on the shores of Lake Clark in the Alaska Range, its population was recorded at 91 in the 1880 United States Census and declined thereafter, falling to approximately 25 individuals by 1904. Today, the village has been abandoned. The ghost town is located at 60°17′28″N 154°13′0″W / 60.29111°N 154.21667°W / 60.29111; -154.21667, at an elevation of 259 feet (79 m); it is located within the bounds of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

The historic portion of the village was the subject of archaeological and ethnological research in the 1960s. Interviews with Dena'ina elders in Nondalton established that the people of Kijik relocated to Old Nondalton (not far from present-day Nondalton) in the early 19th century, probably to be closer to trading posts and the canneries of Bristol Bay. A survey expedition that visited the site in 1909 reported it to be abandoned. A major archaeological excavation of the historic village took place in 1966, exposing twelve foundational remnants of log houses (many of the houses having apparently been moved to Old Nondalton at the time of the relocation), and two of what appeared to be larger communal structures.

In 1979, twelve acres of the village site were added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. A much larger area, encompassing a significant number of archaeological sites related to the habitation and use of the area from at least the 12th century forward, was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1994, for the unique concentration of sites related to the inland Dena'ina people.

The community was known by many other names than "Kijik" during its history, including "Lake Clark Village", "Nijik", "Nikhkak", "Nikhak", and "Old Keegik". Its current name has been spelled in a wide variety of ways, including "Keechik", "Keeghik", "Keejik", "Keggik", "Keygik", "Kichak", "Kichik", "Kilchik", and "Kilchikh".

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