Red Devil

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Red Devil is located on both banks of the Kuskokwim River, at the mouth of Red Devil Creek. 

The village was named after the Red Devil Mine, established in 1921 by Hans Halverson when numerous mercury (quicksilver) deposits were discovered in the surrounding Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains. By 1933, the mine was producing substantial quantities of mercury. Although the mine changed ownership twice over the years, it continued to operate until 1971. The mine produced some 2.7 million pounds of mercury during its operation. A post office was established in 1957 and a state school opened in 1958.  The George Willis Sr. School closed permanently in 2009.

The Red Devil Clinic and Red Devil Traditional Council no longer operate here.  There is no public facility other than the Post Office. There are currently approximately 15 residents living in the community with slight fluctuations during the summer months.

The community is a high-risk flood location. During break up (anywhere from mid-April to late May), river ice tends to jam below Red Devil causing the water to back up, rise, and flood into the village. Flood waters can get high enough to cause people to evacuate their homes and may last several days before the ice jam(s) breaks free.

People in Red Devil enjoy subsistence activities such as winter ice fishing (lush, grayling, whitefish,pike), fishing (salmon) and berry (blue, black, cran, salmon) picking in the summer, and moose hunting in the fall. The large rolling hills around the village are prime berry picking country. 

Temperatures often range from -60 to 90. Most if not all residents make use of firewood for heating their homes during the winter months. Average snowfall is around 6’. People travel on the river via snow machine in winter and boat in the summer. There are no roads in or out of community. 

Narrative provided by Rebecca Wilmarth, photos provided by Kattie Wilmarth


Photos of Red Devil

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