Sites & cities that bear the name of Gambell


Today in : United States of America
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Sivuqaq, Chibuchack, Sevuokok, Гамбелл

Description : Gambell (GAM-bull) (Central Siberian Yupik: Sivuqaq, Russian: Гамбелл) is a city in the Nome Census Area of the U.S. state of Alaska. Located on St. Lawrence Island, it had a population of 681 at the 2010 census, up from 649 in 2000. Sivuqaq is the Yupik language name for St. Lawrence Island and for Gambell. It has also been called Chibuchack and Sevuokok. St. Lawrence Island has been inhabited sporadically for the past 2,000 years by both Alaskan Yup'ik and Siberian Yupik people. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island had a population of about 4,000. The village of Gambell in the summer, with Troutman Lake in the foreground, and the mountains of Chukotka in the background. Between 1878 and 1880 a famine decimated the island's population. Many who did not starve left. The remaining population of St. Lawrence Island was nearly all Siberian Yupik. In 1887, the Reformed Episcopal Church of America decided to open a mission on St. Lawrence Island. That year a carpenter, lumber and tools were left at Sivuqaq by a ship. The carpenter worked with local Yupik to build a wood building, the first they had ever seen. When the building was finished, the carpenter left the keys to the door with a local chief and departed. Since the carpenter had not spoken Siberian Yupik, the residents did not know the purpose of the building. The Reformed Episcopal Church had not been able to find missionaries willing to live on St. Lawrence Island, so the building built for the mission was left unoccupied. In 1890, the building was acquired by Sheldon Jackson. He spoke to the Reverend Vene and Nellie Gambell, of Wapello, Iowa, about moving to St. Lawrence Island. Gambell was hired as a schoolteacher and the Gambells came to the island in 1894. They had a daughter in 1897. Nellie Gambell became ill and the Gambells spent the winter of 1897–1898 in the United States, where Nellie was hospitalized. In the spring of 1898 on the return journey to St. Lawrence Island, their ship sank in a storm and 37 people on it drowned, including the Gambells and their daughter. After their death, Sivuqaq was renamed in the Gambells' honor.

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