Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Eugene Karstens

Eugene Karstens was interviewed on June 24, 1992 by Mike Sfraga in the audio studio at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Eugene's son, Rory, was present at the interview because he was writing a book about this grandfather, Harry Karstens, and was interested in hearing the discussion. In this interview, Eugene talks about his life growing up in the interior of Alaska, and describes his father, his role in the National Park Service and at Mount McKinley National Park (now Denali) and the 1913 climb of Denali Karstens made with Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, Walter Harper, Robert Tatum, and John Fredson. For more about Harry Karstens see: The Seventymile Kid: Harry Karstens and the Conquering of Mount McKinley by Tom Walker (Seattle, WA: Mountaineers Books, 2012).

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 1993-02-10

Project: Denali Mountaineering
Date of Interview: Jun 24, 1992
Narrator(s): Eugene Karstens
Interviewer(s): Mike Sfraga
People Present: Rory Karstens
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Personal background

2) Life as a child living at Riley Creek

3) Technology's arrival to Riley Creek

4) Early life at Riley Creek

5) Climb of Mount McKinley by Archdeacon Hudson Stuck

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: Karstens, Harry\ Eagle\ Seventymile Kid\ mining -- Karstens, Harry\ born -- 1917\ Nenana\ Bishop Roe -- Episcopalian\ Alaska Railroad -- construction hospital\ Dr. Smith|

Section 2: Riley Creek\ Alaskaland -- Harry Karstens' Cabin\ Riley Creek -- history\ transportation -- horse drawn sleds\ Riley Creek -- bridge\ Riley Creek -- flooding\ Denali Park -- history of\ Morino, Maurice\ Miss Fairburn\ Alaska Railroad\ President Harding|

Section 3: Stubbs\ MC Ranch\ kerosene\ Aladdin lamps\ Calvert School\ Fairbanks\ generator\ Model-T|

Section 4: Savage River -- tent camp\ Savage River -- tourists\ Sheldon, Bobby\ Gayland, Jim\ telephone -- first\ dogs -- crossbreeding\ dog mushing -- Karstens, Harry \ Tanana River -- Natives\ fish wheel\ Ranger Station -- first\ mushing -- learning\ sleds -- birchwood\ carbuckles -- lancing of\ health -- diet|

Section 5: Stuck, Archdeacon Hudson\ Mount McKinley\ Sheldon, Charles\ Tenakin\ Harper, Walter\ Harper, Francis\ sourdoughs\ McGonagall, Charlie\ potlatches|