Nome is located in the Nome Census Area on the Seward Peninsula near the Arctic Circle on the shores of the Bering Sea. Nome is only 161 miles east of Russia.
Gold discoveries in the area have been reported as far back as 1865, and since that time, Nome's gold fields have yielded more than 135 million dollars.
The town boasted some 20,000 residents at one time, but later its population plummeted due to a depletion of gold, a major influenza epidemic, and WWII. In addition, Nome was badly damaged by fire in 1905 and 1934.
Today Nome, population 3,505, is the commercial and governmental hub of northwestern Alaska and the supply center for mining operations and Eskimo villages. It is accessible by daily flights from Anchorage and Fairbanks. The town is the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage in March. Nome is host to the Bering Sea Ice Classic, a six-hole golf tournament played on the ice; the Polar Bear Swim on Memorial Day, and the Midnight Sun Festival in June.