Dillingham is located at the extreme north end of Nushagak Bay at the confluence of the Wood and Nushagak Rivers. Dillingham and the surrounding area was initially inhabited by Eskimos and Athabascans and later became a trade center for the Russians.
Dillingham was named for U.S. Senator Paul Dillingham, who toured Alaska extensively with his Senate subcommittee in 1903.
Today, Dillingham has a mixed population of non-Natives, Eskimos, and Aleuts. Commercial fishing is the primary activity in Dillingham. Many residents depend on subsistence activities - trapping, fishing, and hunting.