Oral History Interviews:
Adam Greenwald grew up near the village of Hoonah with 13 brothers and sisters. The family raised livestock and grew vegetables which were sold to fish canneries and mines in the surrounding area. Adam describes how his father developed a unique refrigeration system for maintaining perishable items during the summer months.
Greenwald's father and brothers taught him the basics of hunting, fishing and trapping. Adam was an eager student. He clearly recalls the first mink that he trapped and the first deer that he shot. Both gave him a sense of pride in helping to support the tight-knit family. Adam chuckles at the memory of using his first fur check to purchase his first knickerbocker suit.
Greenwald trapped by skiff from a young age. An average fur harvest would tally 25 otter, 50 mink and 100 marten. He trapped cooperatively with several family members over the years. In one particular case, Adam's helpfulness nearly caused a mutiny amongst his partners. He recalls one shipment of fur which was lost in transit, but actually worked out to his advantage.
Adam held a variety of jobs during his working life. As a young man, he was employed by the US Forest Service on several interesting projects. These trips allowed the young Greenwald to visit numerous ports throughout the state. He also hauled fish for the well-known Libby Packing Company for several years.
Greenwald was appointed to the Fish and Game Board by Governor Bill Eagan, who he describes as "just a regular guy." Adam's tenure on the Board was full of controversial issues, some of which were resolved in unexpected ways. He relished the opportunity to travel throughout the State and interact with the "good people" of Alaska.
Adam grew up on the ocean and in the forests surrounding Hoonah. His love of the natural world has not diminished with age.