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Bettles, Alaska

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bettles

Kk’odlel T’odegheelenh Denh
Aerial view of Bettles (right) and its neighbor Evansville (left)
Aerial view of Bettles (right) and its neighbor Evansville (left)
Location in Alaska
Location in Alaska
Coordinates: 66°54′48″N 151°31′21″W / 66.91333°N 151.52250°W / 66.91333; -151.52250
CountryUnited States
StateAlaska
Census AreaYukon-Koyukuk
IncorporatedDecember 20, 1985[1]
Government
 • MayorHeather J. Fox
 • State senatorDonny Olson (D)
 • State rep.John Lincoln (D)
Area
 • Total1.54 sq mi (4.00 km2)
 • Land1.52 sq mi (3.94 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)  0%
Elevation
630 ft (200 m)
Population
 (1960)
 • Total77
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
12
 • Density7.90/sq mi (3.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC−9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99726
Area code907 Exchange: 692
FIPS code02-06630
GNIS feature ID1926949

Bettles (Kk’odlel T’odegheelenh Denh in Koyukon) is a city in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. It is near Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The population was 12 at the 2010 census.

History

The original village was founded a mile southwest of the junction of the John & Koyukuk Rivers in the late 1890s during the Alaska Gold Rush and was named for Captain James Bettles of Valdez, a printer, prospector, and trader who established the trading post and community in 1898.[4] A post office was established in 1901 and continued intermittently until 1956.[5] Residents began relocating 5 miles east to Evansville, where the airstrip that serves the community today was built in World War II and is now used for commercial air service. The Hickel Highway was used to transport equipment and supplies to the North Slope for oil exploration, and to build the Dalton Highway, which is now used as a truck route to the oilfields. The old village was largely abandoned and the New Bettles was carved out of Evansville and was incorporated in 1985.[6]

Demographics

The demographics of Bettles,AK was Native Alaskan, 32.4%, Non-Hispanic White, 45.4%, Black-African American 0.2%, Hispanic of any race, 0.5%, Native Hawaiian-Pacific Islander 0.1%

Old Bettles (1930-1960)

Historical population
Census Pop.
193023
194010−56.5%
195047370.0%
19607763.8%
2019 (est.)12[3]
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

The original village of Bettles first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village.[8] At that time, it was located on the west bank of the Koyukuk River, a mile west of its junction with the John River 66°54′25″N 151°40′59″W / 66.90694°N 151.68306°W / 66.90694; -151.68306 (Old Bettles, Alaska).[5] With the construction of the airfield at Evansville 5 miles east, residents began relocating away by the 1940s and the post office closed in 1956. The original village would later be known as "Old Bettles." It would apparently last appear on the 1960 U.S. Census,[9] although it is not entirely clear if the figures for 1950 and 1960 were for the settlement of the old village or for the new settlement around the airstrip in Evansville. It was reported the last residents left the old village in 1997, though several buildings still remain two decades later.

New Bettles (1990-)

Historical population
Census Pop.
199036
20004319.4%
201012−72.1%
2018 (est.)13[10]8.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

The present day city of "New" Bettles is about 5 miles east of the old settlement surrounding the Bettles Airstrip and was originally known as Evansville.[12] It is located on the south bank of the Koyukuk River and east of where the John River flows into it. 66°55′08″N 151°30′58″W / 66.91889°N 151.51611°W / 66.91889; -151.51611 (Bettles, Alaska).[6] Although the area began to be settled around World War II with the construction of the airfield, it was not entirely clear if the population figures for 1950 and 1960 were for the "New" Bettles or the old village, which still was occupied until 1997. When Bettles ceased to report after the 1960 census, the area around the airfield reported as the unincorporated village of Evansville on the 1970 census[13] and as a census-designated place on the 1980 census.[14] In 1985, a section of unincorporated Evansville was carved out and incorporated as the city of Bettles, and it has appeared on the U.S. Census again beginning in 1990.[15]

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 43 people, 16 households, and 9 families residing in the city. The population density was 26.2 people per square mile (10.1 per km2). There were 36 housing units at an average density of 21.9/sq mi (8.5 per km). The racial makeup of the city was 76.74% White, 18.60% Native American, and 4.65% from two or more races.

There were 16 households, out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 18.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.44.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.2% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 37.2% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 130.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,375, and the median income for a family was $65,000. Males had a median income of $47,917 versus $48,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,585. There were 10.0% of families and 6.4% of the population living below the poverty line, including 11.1% of under eighteens and none of those over 64.

The population of Bettles has decreased since 2000. The 2010 census estimated the population at 12 and the latest census estimates remain at 12. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce development estimates the 2017 population at 9.[17]

Geography

Bettles is located on the southeast bank of the Koyukuk River at 66°54′48″N 151°31′21″W / 66.91333°N 151.52250°W / 66.91333; -151.52250 (66.913419, −151.522374).[18] The city is on the former Hickel Highway,[19] that now connects to the Dalton Highway as a winter ice road only and crosses the Jim River (Alaska). Bettles is 35 miles (56 km) north of the Arctic Circle just south of the Brooks Range. The city is also served by a 5,190-foot (1,580 m) gravel airstrip built by the military.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land.

Climate

As is typical of the Alaska Interior, Bettles experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with very long, frigid winters and short, warm summers, and is located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 1,[20] indicating the coldest temperature of the year is typically at or below −50 °F (−46 °C). Temperatures usually remain consistently below freezing from late October to late March, and the bulk of the year's snow occurs from October to April, with generally light accumulations in May and September; the average annual snowfall stands at 91 inches (2.31 m). In summer, temperatures reach 70 °F (21 °C) on 37 days and 80 °F (27 °C) on 6.4, with an average of 1 night not falling below 60 °F (16 °C). The threat of frost usually begins in late August, but sometimes it can happen during the first half of that month. A majority of the annual precipitation of 14.9 inches (378 mm) occurs during summer as well. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −70 °F (−57 °C), recorded on January 4, 1975, up to 93 °F (34 °C), set on July 6, 1986.

Climate data for Bettles Airport, Alaska (1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1944–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 42
(6)
40
(4)
49
(9)
66
(19)
86
(30)
92
(33)
93
(34)
88
(31)
79
(26)
59
(15)
45
(7)
38
(3)
93
(34)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 26.3
(−3.2)
28.5
(−1.9)
35.6
(2.0)
51.4
(10.8)
72.8
(22.7)
83.0
(28.3)
83.5
(28.6)
76.0
(24.4)
63.3
(17.4)
42.8
(6.0)
28.3
(−2.1)
25.7
(−3.5)
85.0
(29.4)
Average high °F (°C) −2.2
(−19.0)
4.5
(−15.3)
16.7
(−8.5)
34.3
(1.3)
54.6
(12.6)
69.3
(20.7)
69.8
(21.0)
62.1
(16.7)
48.9
(9.4)
25.6
(−3.6)
6.0
(−14.4)
1.9
(−16.7)
32.8
(0.4)
Average low °F (°C) −17.9
(−27.7)
−14.5
(−25.8)
−8.0
(−22.2)
12.3
(−10.9)
34.2
(1.2)
47.6
(8.7)
49.6
(9.8)
42.9
(6.1)
32.3
(0.2)
12.1
(−11.1)
−8.1
(−22.3)
−13.4
(−25.2)
14.2
(−9.9)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −47.2
(−44.0)
−43.0
(−41.7)
−32.8
(−36.0)
−15.0
(−26.1)
18.6
(−7.4)
35.9
(2.2)
39.3
(4.1)
29.7
(−1.3)
17.1
(−8.3)
−11.2
(−24.0)
−32.0
(−35.6)
−42.6
(−41.4)
−53.8
(−47.7)
Record low °F (°C) −70
(−57)
−64
(−53)
−56
(−49)
−37
(−38)
−10
(−23)
27
(−3)
29
(−2)
15
(−9)
0
(−18)
−35
(−37)
−57
(−49)
−60
(−51)
−70
(−57)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.81
(21)
0.85
(22)
0.58
(15)
0.60
(15)
0.88
(22)
1.40
(36)
2.36
(60)
2.64
(67)
1.91
(49)
1.04
(26)
0.91
(23)
0.92
(23)
14.90
(378)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 13.9
(35)
14.0
(36)
9.3
(24)
6.3
(16)
1.3
(3.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
2.5
(6.4)
12.4
(31)
16.1
(41)
15.6
(40)
91.4
(232)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.0 9.0 7.3 6.4 8.3 10.8 13.5 14.6 12.2 12.0 10.6 11.4 125.1
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 10.0 10.3 8.1 5.6 1.2 0 0 0 2.1 11.4 11.5 12.5 72.7
Average relative humidity (%) 68.6 67.0 65.3 67.2 60.7 59.8 67.7 75.8 75.6 77.7 73.5 71.7 69.2
Average dew point °F (°C) −17.3
(−27.4)
−16.1
(−26.7)
−6.5
(−21.4)
11.8
(−11.2)
29.7
(−1.3)
42.4
(5.8)
47.8
(8.8)
45.0
(7.2)
32.5
(0.3)
12.7
(−10.7)
−7.4
(−21.9)
−15.5
(−26.4)
13.3
(−10.4)
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and dew point 1961–1990)[21][22][23]
Notes
  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.

Education

The community was previously served by the Bettles Field School of the Yukon–Koyukuk School District.[24]

Transport

Bettles Airport has flights on two commercial airlines; with 12 registered residents in 2010, Bettles is one of the smallest communities served by commercial airlines.


Notable people

References

  1. ^ 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 33.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "Geological Survey Professional Paper". 1949.
  5. ^ a b https://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=138:3:0::NO:3:P3_FID,P3_TITLE:1398910,Old%20Bettles%20%2528historical%2529
  6. ^ a b https://geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=138:3:0::NO:3:P3_FID,P3_TITLE:1926949,Bettles
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  8. ^ https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/00476569ch2.pdf
  9. ^ https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/37721577v1p3ch2.pdf
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ http://explorenorth.com/library/communities/alaska/bl-Bettles.htm
  13. ^ https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1970a_ak-01.pdf
  14. ^ https://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/1980a_akABCD-01.pdf
  15. ^ https://www.census.gov/prod/cen1990/cph5/cph-5-3.pdf
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  17. ^ "Department of Labor and Workforce Development – Research and Analysis". laborstats.alaska.gov. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  19. ^ Ni Yachen (2007-05-23). "Ni's Jia: Hickel's Highway". Niyachen.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  20. ^ "facebook-circle". Arborday.org. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  21. ^ "Station Name: AK BETTLES AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  22. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  23. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for BETTLES/FIELD AK 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  24. ^ Home. Bettles Field School. March 30, 2002. Retrieved on March 13, 2017.
This page was last edited on 24 January 2021, at 18:41
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