The Denaakk’e name for Hughes is ‘Høt’odleekkaakk’et’, ‘mouth of Høt’odleetno’ a creek opposite the Koyukuk River from Hughes. It is located 57 air miles and 73 river miles downriver from Allakaket and 207 air miles northwest of Fairbanks.
Native people from the surrounding area made Hughes their home in the early 1900s. At that time, it was a port of supply for the Indian River gold miners. Alfred Isaac was one of the people who discovered gold at Indian Mountain; this is why it is called Indian Mountain.
Hughes is a beautiful community situated on a hillside overlooking the Koyukuk River. In the fall people seine for sheefish and whitefish. Hughes is an excellent fishing area and is a particularly good spot for seining because the river there is shallow and gravel-bottomoed with few stumps for nets to get caught on. The people of Hughes have a great respect for an attachment to the traditional ways of doing things and so the women do their own moose skin tanning, babiche making, etc.
Hughes is also known for its fine singers. Some of the most well known of these singers are Susine and Lavine Williams and Joe Beetus. Other well-known people of Hughes include: Johnny and Julia Oldman, Abraham Oldman, Ida and Little Beetus.
YKSD Biography Series: Henry Beatus, Sr.; Joe Beetus