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Quick Facts

  • Location: 71 ° 17' 26" N, 156 ° 47' 19" W
  • Region: North Slope
  • Uses:
  • Elevation: 10 ft (3.05 m)


On Chukchi Sea coast, 10 mi. SW of Point Barrow, Arctic Plain.

The former name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native residents found it easier to pronounce than the native name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. The native name, also rendered "Utkiakvik," refers to a "high place for viewing," because the community was situated on relatively high (30 ft) land at Cape Smyth. Although Captain Beechey's party (1831, p307), Royal Navy (RN), mentions a village at Cape Smyth in 1826, the name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Maguire, Royal Navy (RN), (Great Britain, 1854, map facing p186). John Simpson's native map dated 1855 records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty (Brit. Adm.) Chart as "Otkiovik." Lieutenant P.H. Ray's party established a station located one-half mile northeast of the native village for meteorologic and magnetic observations in 1881. They called the station "Ooglaamie" or "Uglaamie," a



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