Finnish Place Names - Alaska


Aho Bay
A bight, 7.5 miles across, on S coast of Alaska Peninsula, in Katmai National Monument, 35 miles NE of Mount Katmai, Aleutian Range. Aho is a Finnish surname.
Aho = burn-beat, field.

The official name is Hallo Bay. Variations: Ago Bay, Aho Bay, Aiu Bay, Aja Bay, Hioo Bay, Porte Aiou, Zaliv Ayo.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 53.

Aho Glacier
A glacier in Kenai Peninsula County. Trends NW 2 miles to its 1958 terminus, 1 mile E of Lake Clark Pass, 50 miles WNW of Kenai, Aleutian Range. Aho is a Finnish surname.
Aho = burn-beat, field.

A Finnish surname meaning "meadow" reported in 1958 by U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 53.

Aho Lake  
A lake in Matanuska-Susitna County. A lake, 1,700 ft. long, N of Friday Creek, 46 miles NW of Tyonek, Alaska Range. Aho is a Finnish surname.
Aho = burn-beat, field.

Local name reported in 1954 by U.S. Geological Survey. Named for a Finnish bush pilot, Mr. Aho (complete name not available), who crashed near here.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 53.

Cape Etolin
Point of land 25 miles SW of Cape Vancouver, extends into Bering Sea, off N coast of Nunivak Island. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Named "M[ys] Etolina" by the Russians for Capt. Adolph Karlovitch Etolin, governor of the Russian American colonies, 1841-45, who, with Khromchenko, explored this area in 1821. Variant: Cape Khromchenko.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Mount Etolin
A moiuntain, 3,705 ft., on Etolin Island, 2.5 miles W of Canoe Passage and 32 miles S of Wrangell, Alex. Arch. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Named in 1886 by Lt. Comdr. A. S. Snow, U.S. Navy, for Capt. Adolph Karlovich Etolin, governor of the Russian American colonies in 1841-45.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Etolin Bay
A bay 25 miles SW of Cape Vancouver, off E coast of Cape Etolin, on Nunivak Island. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Name reported about 1908 by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Etolin Island
An island, extends NW-SE 32 miles, separated from Prince of Wales Island on W by Clarence Straight, 9 miles S of Wrangell, Alex. Arch. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Named by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for charting purposes; name published in 1925 Coast Pilot.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Point Etolin
Locality on E shore of Nushagak Bay, 27 miles SE of Dillingham, Bristol Bay Low. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Eskimo settlement or camp reported in 1936 by U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Etolin Point
Point of land between Kvickak and Nushagak Bays, 30 miles SE of Dillingham, Bristol Bay Low. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Name reported in 1828 by Capt. Lutke (1836, map 14), Imperial Russian Navy, as "M[ys] Etolin" and "C[ap] Etoline"; named for Capt. Adolph Karlovitch Etolin, governor of the Russian American colonies from 1841 to 1845, who explored this region in 1821. Variants:   Cap Etoline, Mys Etolin, Mys Etolina, Mys Bristolskiy, Point Etholin, Bristol Cape.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Etolin Strait
A water passage 50 miles long, near E shore of Bering Sea, between Nunivak Island and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Arvid Adolf Etholén, b. Jan. 9, 1799 in Helsinki, Finland, d. March 29, 1876 in Elimäki, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company 1818-1825 as a ship master, and 1826-1831. Adjutant for the governor of the Russian American colonies 1834. Governor of the colonies 1838-1845. Member of the board of the Russian-American Company in St. Petersburg, Russia 1847-1859.

Discovered in 1821 by Capt. A. K. Etolin, later governor of the Russian American colonies, who named it "Cook Strait" for Capt. James Cook, Royal Navy. Adm. A. J. Krusenstern, Royal Navy, later proposed that it be named for its discover.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 320.

Finland Creek
A stream, flows NW 16 miles to Innoko River, 1.9 miles E of Rennies Landing and 37 miles NW of Ophir, Innoko Low. Local name obtained from Joseph Ferris in 1954 by R. E. Isto, U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 333.

The Finn
A point of land, extends 1.4 miles W from Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, 23 miles NE of McCarthy, Wrangell Mountains. It is doubtful whether such appellations as The Finn were ever bestowed by Finns. Rather, such names indicating nationality tend to have been given by individuals of other nationalities to identify certain places with the Old World background of their predominant inhabitants.

Source: Kaups 1966, p. 387.


Local name obtained by U.S. Geological Survey in 1954.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 333.

Finn Mountains
A mountain, 2,480 ft., 36 miles N of Sleitat Mountain and 75 miles S of Sleetmute, Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains. It is doubtful whether such appellations as The Finn were ever bestowed by Finns. Rather, such names indicating nationality tend to have been given by individuals of other nationalities to identify certain places with the Old World background of their predominant inhabitants.

Source: Kaups 1966, p. 387.


Local name obtained in 1931 by Gerald FizGerald, U.S. Geological Survey; name "used by trappers on the Upper Nushagak".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 333.

Finski Bay
A cove on NE coast of Glacier Island, 0.7 miles across, 3 miles S of entrance to Columbia Bay, 55 miles NE of Whittier, Chugach Mountains. May be of Finnish origin.

Named in 1905 by U. S. Grant, U.S. Geological Survey, "for a prospector who had a cabin there".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 333.

Finski Point
A point of land on NE coast of Glacier Island, point of entrance to Finski Bay, 56 miles NE of Whittier, Chugach Mountains. May be of Finnish origin.

Named in 1911 by U. S. Grant, U.S. Geological Survey, "for a prospector who had a claim there".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 333.

Mount Furuhelm
A mountain  3,610 ft., 4.5 miles SW of Baranof, on E coast of Baranof Island, Alex. Arch. Johan Hampus Furuhjelm, b. March 11, 1821 in Helsinki, Finland, d. Sept. 21, 1909 in Urjala, Finland. Employed by the Russian-American Company, 1850-1853. Governor over the Russian colonies in America, Dec. 25, 1858 - June 18, 1865.

Named in 1935 by U.S. Forest Service "for Ivan Vasilievitch Furuhelm, mining engineer and Governor of Russian America, 1859-1863".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 357.

Lake Hillberg
A lake on Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage Borough. Lake Hillberg on Elmendorf AFB near Anchorage was named after my father, Lauri Jacob Hillberg. From December 1940 to June 1943 Dad was stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska where he was in the 75th Coast Artillery (AA), ending his tour as commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion. Because he was skilled at skiing and snowshoeing he would take his troops on training exercises to a lake on what was then Fort Richardson. After Dad made numerous trips to this lake an officer at headquarters called it Lake Hillberg to enable headquarters to identify the location where the troops were going for training. On current USGS maps the lake is shown as Lake Tuomi, but road signs on Elmendorf AFB identify it as Lake Hillberg.

Lauri Jacob Hillberg was born May 26, 1907 in Marquette, Michigan, the first son of Finnish immigrants. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1932 where he lettered in both football and track. He retired from the army on November 1, 1958 with the rank of full colonel. He then worked as an engineer for the Boeing Company in Seattle until he retired in 1969. Lauri died June 18, 1993 in Tacoma, Washington.

Source: Lauri Hall Hillberg / lhhillberg@attbi.com / Aug 30, 2001.

Hillberg Ski Area
A park in Anchorage Borough, immediately adjacent to Lake Hillberg. Received its name from Lake Hillberg.

Source: Lauri Hall Hillberg / lhhillberg@attbi.com / July 18, 2002.

Ingenstrem Rocks [Ingenstern Rocks, Ingenstrom Rocks, Inghestrom Rocks, Kamni Ingenstrema]
Rocks SE of Semichi Islands, Aleutian Islands. Erik August Ingeström was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1799. He came to Alaska on the ship "Kutuzov" in 1821 and made several voyages on the ships of the Russian American Company to Hawaii and California. He took part in important hydrographic and astronomical research on the Aleutian Islands. In 1831 he was master of the ship "Sivuch" when it was wrecked at Atka Island in the Aleutian Islands. He was honoured when a place on the Semichi Island was named after him. Later teacher in the navigation school in Turku, Finland, and director of pilots in Turku.

Source: Olin 1995, p. 127.


Named by the Russians and published 1848 as "Kamni Ingenstrema" meaning "Ingenstrem Rocks" on Russian Hydrog. Dept. Chart 1400; named for a pilot in the employ of the Russian American Company about 1829-30. He is supposed to have visited the Andreanof Island group and spent two winters at Atka while correcting the existing hydrographic charts of this region.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 455.

Mount Isto
A summit (9050 ft) in the Romanzof Mountains of the Brooks range, 12 miles ESE of Mount Michelson, North Slope County. Named for Reynold E. (Pete) Isto (1913-1965), civil engineer with the U.S. Geological Survey, resident engineer in Alaska from 1954 to 1961, pioneer in the use of helicopters for Alaskan mapping, and head of field parties mapping the Brooks Range in 1956. Isto was of Finnish descent.

Source: USGS Geographic Names Information System / http://geonames.usgs.gov / July 11, 2004 & Kauko Isto / kauko.isto@konsepti.fi / Dec. 4, 2003.

Jussila Creek
A stream, flows SW 4 miles to Noyes Slough, 2 miles NW of Fairbanks, Tanana Low. Named for Yrjo Henry Jussila, a homesteader in the area. Jussila was born in Aberdeen, Wash., in 1907 and in his youth came to Alaska where he was employed by the Alaska railroad. He died in Arizona in 1948. The name is of Finnish origin and means "John's place". The name was published in 1955 by U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 481.

Kivi Lake
A lake in Kenai Peninsula County. May be of Finnish origin.
Kivi = stone.
Kivi is a Finnish surname.
Koka Island [Koka Islet, Ostrov Koka]
An island 0.1 miles across, 12 miles S of Sitka, on W coast of Baranof Island, Alex. Arch. The name "Koka" can't be identified as a Finnish surname.

A Finnish family name applied to this island in 1809 by Ivan Vasiliev the first, Imperial Russian Navy; published by Lt. Sarichev (1826, map 19), Imperial Russian Navy, as "O[strov] Koka", or "Koka Island".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 536.

Lindenberg Harbor [Gavan Lindenberga]
A bay 0.5 miles across, at Todd, on S coas of Chichago Island, Alex. Arch. Johan Samuel [Ivan Vasilevich] [B.] [G.] Lindenberg, a captain from Finland, employed by the Russian American Company.

Source: Furuhjelm 1932, p. 100 & 124; Enckell 1996, p. 52-57; Olin 1996, p. 18.


Named in 1883 by Russian navigator Ens. Vasiliev for G. Lindenberg (complete name not available), who made surveys in this area in 1838.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 578.

Lindenberg Head
A point of land 0.7 miles SE of Todd, on Peril Strait, on S coast of Chichagof Island., Alex. Arch. Johan Samuel [Ivan Vasilevich] [B.] [G.] Lindenberg, a captain from Finland, employed by the Russian American Company.

Source: Furuhjelm 1932, p. 100 & 124; Enckell 1996, p. 52-57; Olin 1996, p. 18.


Apparently named in 1895 by Lt. Comdr. E. K. Moore, U.S. Navy, for adjacent Lindenberg Harbor. The name was published by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey on Chart 8283.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 578.

Lindenberg Peninsula [Bereg Lindenberga, Lindenberg Shore]
A peninsula 30 miles long, on E coast of Kupreanof Island, separated from Mitkof Island on SE by Wrangell Narrows, 26 miles NW of Wrangell, Alex. Arch. Johan Samuel [Ivan Vasilevich] [B.] [G.] Lindenberg, a captain from Finland,, employed by the Russian American Company.

Source: Furuhjelm 1932, p. 100 & 124; Enckell 1996, p. 52-57; Olin 1996, p. 18.


Named by the Russian Hydrog. Dept. in 1853, who published it on Chart 1493 as "Berg Lindenberga", i.e. "Lindenberg Shore", referring to the eastern shore. The generic "peninsula" was given by W. H. Dall, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, in 1883.  This feature was named for the Russian, G. Lindenberg (complete name not available), who explored and surveyed in the Alexander Archipelago in 1838.

Manty Mountain
A summit in Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan County. May be of Finnish origin.
Mänty is a Finnish surname.
Mänty = pine.
Nekula Gulch [Nikkala Gulch, Nickala Creek]
A ravine, trends NW 0.6 mile to Anvil Creek N of Dexter Peak and 6 miles of Nome, Seward Penin. High. Nikka, Nikkari, Nikkilä, Nikkola and Nikula are Finnish farm names and surnames. Nikkala may be a Finnish farm name.

Prospector's name of Finnish origin published on the 1902 "Map of the Nome and Snake River Country" by J. M. Davidson. In 1916, Polk's Gazetteer showed a mining camp along the ravine, calling the camp "Nickala Gulch".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 680.

Otto Lake [Finn Lake, Ottos Lake]
A lake 0.8 mile long, 3 miles SW of Healy, Alaska Ra. Named for Otto Maki, a Finnish homesteader upon whose land the lake stands; reported in 1959 by U.S. Geological Survey.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 731.

Tuomi
A settlement on NE shore of Tuomi Lake, 4.7 miles NE of Anchorage, Cook Inlet Low, Anchorage County. Tuomi is a Finnish surname.
Tuomi = bird-cherry.

Local name reported in 1942 by Army Map Service. Recent U.S. Geological Survey maps indicate a site of five or six buildings.

Source: Orth 1967, p. 993.

Tuomi Lake
A lake 800 ft. across, 1.4 miles S of Sixmile Lake and 4.4 miles NE of Anchorage, Cook Inlet Low, in Anchorage County. Tuomi is a Finnish surname.
Tuomi = bird-cherry.

See also: Lake Hillberg.


Local name reported in 1942 by Army Map Service; named for Onni Tuomi, a Finnish family who homesteaded here in the 1920's. The name "tuomi" means "chokecherry".

Source: Orth 1967, p. 993.