Bentley's Bed and Breakfast - Your Home Away From Home...When in Western Alaska
About Bethel
 
Alaska is a great part of the United States with all of its privileges and protections and Bethel is the center of activity and commerce in Western Alaska.
 
 
 
History:  Bethel Alaska is 400 air miles west of Anchorage, Alaska and was first established by Yupik Eskimos who called the village MAMTERILLERMIUT, meaning Smokehouse People, so named for the nearby fish smokehouse. There were 41 people in Bethel during the 1880 U.S. Census. At that time, the village was an Alaska Commercial Company Trading Post. The Moravian Church established a mission in the area in 1884. The community was moved to its present location due to erosion at the prior site. A post office was opened in 1905.                                                                          Local Fish Smokehouse
 
Before long, Bethel was serving as a trading, transportation and distribution center for the region which attracted Natives from surrounding villages. Over time, federal and state agencies established regional offices in Bethel. The city was incorporated in 1957. Bethel, one of the largest communities in western Alaska, lies within the 20 million-acre Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge in the nation. Bethel serves as an administrative and transportation hub for 56 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
 
Climate: Precipitation averages 16 inches a year in this area, with snowfall of 50 inches. Summer temperatures range from 62 to 42; winter temperatures average 19 to -2.
 Sea plane coming in
 
Airport: Bethel has the third busiest airport in the state. The main Bethel airport paved runway is 6,400 feet long and 150 feet wide.
 
The route between Bethel and Anchorage is served by both jet and propeller craft. There is daily jet service between Bethel and Anchorage for passengers and cargo. Many small air taxi services operate from Bethel, serving 56 villages in the surrounding areas with scheduled and charter service.
 
Transportation: The State-owned Bethel Airport is the regional transportation center, and is served by two major passenger airlines, two cargo carriers, and numerous air taxi services. The airport ranks third in the state for total number of flights. It is currently undergoing a $7 million renovation and expansion. Two float plane bases are nearby, Hangar Lake and H Marker Lake. The Port of Bethel is the northern-most medium-draft port in the U.S.
 
River travel is the primary means of local transportation in the summer, and it becomes a 150-mile ice road to surrounding villages in the winter. A barge service based in Bethel provides goods to the Kuskokwim villages. There are 16 miles of local roads.
 
 
Work enviroment: 50% of the jobs in Bethel today are local, state and federal government jobs.  Healthcare is the leading industry followed by education and transportation. The remainder of the jobs are from private industry. There are small businesses and many residents supplement their incomes with subsistence hunting, fishing and berry harvest.
 
Bethel Today:  The population of Bethel 2010 was 6,500.
 
Roads: The city of Bethel maintains 21 miles of mainly gravel roads within the city. The state of Alaska maintains 5 miles of paved road as well as an ice road on the Kuskokwin River that can exceed 100 miles in the winter.
 
Port of Bethel: Bethel has the only medium draft port for ocean-going vessels in western Alaska.  Maximun ship/barge length for the port is 400 feet.  The port can service one ocean-going barge in the front and two small river barges along the Brown Slought side of the port.  The fuel dock handles bulk fuel for disbursement throughout the delta.
 
Bentley's BnB on the waterfront.
Click on the photo to enlarge.
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