Oral History Interviews:

Lyle Garner

Lyle Garner has spent time on the ice sheets off the northern coast of Alaska. He has worked at various locations throughout the Interior. He has fished the dangerous waters of the Bering Sea. However, most of his time and memories are focused on Kodiak Island, where he fished and trapped for many years.

Garner and his trapping partners were highly successful on Kodiak. They routinely caught hundreds of beaver. Fox and otter were also plentiful. They ran long 'lines on foot, carrying all of their gear on their backs.

During his years on Kodiak, Lyle learned a lot about the behavior of giant brown bears. In fact, one bear followed Garner on his trapline for many years. The bear would eat carcasses which Lyle skinned. The pair lived a peaceful existence. Neither ever threatened the other.

Lyle shares his insight regarding Alaska's transition from a territory to a state. He describes satirizing the Mayor's race in Anchorage on more than one occasion. He recalls the rough and tumble times during the early days of the Fur Rondy.

Lyle now lives near the community of Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula. Nearing 80 years of age, he recently bought a small sawmill. He harvests logs and produces lumber because "... I hate to be idle."

Click here for excerpt from Garner interview (MP3)

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Phone: (907) 457-1774
Mail: P. O. Box 82177
Fairbanks, Alaska 99708
Email: info@alaskatrappers.org

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