Historic Churches


Nome Census Area

Nome Census Area,


If you have any records to add or a correction, please send to Trish Elliott-Kashima


Anyone with history on these churches please let me know.

Nome in 1904, Catholic Church in foreground.

The first cornerstone of the Catholic Church was laid by Father Aloysius Jacquet, S J on July 4, 1901 and the church was opened on Christmas day by Father van der Pol who was assisted by Father LaFortune.  Father Cataldo was the parish priest in 1902-1903. 


Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress



Old St Josephs Catholic Church, now known as Old St Joe's Hall. Nome.


Methodist Mission for Eskimos, Nome, 1920

Photo courtesy University of Alaska Anchorage, Archives and Manuscripts, Alaska's Digital Archives.

Congregational Church, Nome Alaska, 1901-1903

It was established in 1899 by Rev Dr Wirth. He secured funds to build a substantial and commodious hospital, which was constructed.  Several clergy have ministered to the Congregational flock.  Rev C E Ryberg was the pastor for at least three years and he succeeded Rev Mr Fowler.   


Photo courtesy of Alaska Anchorage Archives and

Special Collections

Alaska's Digital Archives

Mrs Lehfeldt and her Eskimo friends at the Eskimo church on the Sandspit at Christmas, Nome, Alaska 1906


Photo courtesy of Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Library and Archives, Alaska's Digital Archives

Aleksandr Dimitrievich Pustynskii, later Bishop Innokentii. Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church


Photo courtesy of Alaska State Library, Historical Collection. Alaska's

Digital Archives.

Unalakleet Covenant Church at Unalakleet, on the shore of the Bering Sea.  1960.

Courtesy of Anchorage Museum of History and art, Library and Archives. Alaska's Digital Library.

Pentecostal Assembly of God, Nome, ca 1947-1948.

Photo courtesy of University of Alaska Anchorage, Archives and Special Collections, Alaska's Digital Archives.

Abandoned Our Lady of Lourdes church at Pilgrim Springs, a former Catholic Orphanage. The orphanage was built after the flu epidemic of 1918 with a church, dormitory and school, living quarters for staff and greenhouses.  Facilities were kept warm from water piped in from the hot springs.  It was closed in 1941 but re-opened shortly after as a recreational facility for the military until the end of WWII. 



The Pilgrim Springs mission flourished for about 20 years as a boarding school-orphanage and was mostly self supporting with its farm and gardens. 

April 22, 1918 Father LaFortune moved to the Hot

Springs after James F Halpin deeded the property to Father LaFortune as a gift for the Church.  Over the next several years most of the Marys Igloo Mission was moved to Pilgrim Hot Springs which included the lumber from the taken down buildings.  The new name was Our Lady of Lourdes Mission.  The flu epidemic left many orphans who were moved from Nome to Pilgrim Springs.  Brother John F Hansen  came to help Father Hubert A Post on August 15, 1919 and five Ursuline sisters arrived the next day.  In October 1919 Brother Peter P Wilhalm arrived to help.  They built a total of 15 structures there for about 100 orphans and about 20 staff.


By 1935 there were about 60 children at the mission and by 1941 it had run into poor repair with too few orphans to justify the expense of repairing the buildings.  The property was leased to the Military during WWII while they worked on a landing strip.  Then abandoned.


 The property was sold to a Native Consortium in 2010. 

Episcopal Church of Nome was established under the direction of Bishop Rowe whose diocese is the entire District of Alaska.  The first rector in charge was the Rev C H Brewer and after him was the Rev Mr White.  This photo is at Easter, 1902

St Joseph Church, Nome, 1901.

Drawing by Sam McClain. 

Courtesy of University of Alaska, Anchorage, Archives and Special Collections.




Moravian, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, and other denominations have more recently established missions, schools, and hospitals in Alaska. The Moravians, the second largest denomination in Alaska, settled predominantly in Bethel and along the Kuskokwim River.

For Catholic and Presbyterian information, write to the local church since the Bureau of Vital Statistics’ records are restricted.

Roman Catholic
Diocese of Juneau
419 Sixth Street
Juneau, AK 99801
Tel (907) 586-2227
Fax (907) 463-3237
Roman Catholic
Chancery Office
Diocese of Fairbanks
1316 Peger Road
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Tel (907) 474-0753
Fax (907) 474-8009
Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Anchorage
225 Cordova St.
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tel (907) 258-7898
Fax (907) 279-3885
Roman Catholic
The Sisters of Providence Archives
4800 37th Avenue S.W.
Seattle, WA 98126
Tel (206) 937-4600
Fax (206) 938-6193
Alaska Moravian Church
P.O. Box 545
Bethel, AK 99559
Bethlehem, PA
Tel (610) 867-7566
Fax (610) 866-9223
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tel (215) 627-1852
Fax (215) 627-0509
Russian Orthodox
St. Herman’s Theological Seminary
414 Mission Rd.
Kodiak, AK 99615
Tel (907) 486-3524
Fax (907) 486-5935

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This page was last updated on -02/16/2018

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