A settlement called Alexandrovskaya on the present site of the town was first recorded in 1862. In 1869, an agricultural farm was established there, which later grew into the village of Alexandrovka. At the time, it was known as Otchishi (落石, Otchishi) among Japanese.
The economy of Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky is mainly reliant on its harbor, the oldest and previously most important on Sakhalin, and the mining of black coal in the local area.
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