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Joseph "Josie" Carlough

Joseph "Josie" Carlough was interviewed on January 8, 2015 by Jan Yaeger at the Seldovia Village Tribe's Senior Meals Room in Seldovia, Alaska. In this interview, Josie talks about growing up and going to school in Seldovia, working as a commercial fisherman, and operating the Knight Spot Bar. He also talks about experiencing the 1964 Alaska Earthquake in Kodiak, as well as changes in fishing and in the community of Seldovia.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2014-17-06

Project: Seldovia
Date of Interview: Jan 8, 2015
Narrator(s): Joseph "Josie" Carlough
Interviewer(s): Jan Yaeger
Transcriber: Jan Yaeger
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Park Service, Seldovia Village Tribe
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

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Born in Port Chatham, moving to Seldovia

His parents, growing up, and early jobs with boats and fishing

Salmon and crab fishing

Being in Kodiak during the 1964 Alaska Earthquake

Moving back to Seldovia, and fishing with his boat, the "Lady Jessie"

Running a tour boat and bringing the boat, the "Kachemak Voyager," up from Seattle

Life as a kid in Seldovia, and quitting school to go into the fishing business

Working as a fish tender in Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Bristol Bay

Talking about Squeaky Anderson

Rolling a boat

Fishing, being in the Army, and Urban Renewal in Seldovia

School in Seldovia, and high school kids pulled from class to help load salmon on the steamship

Remembering Jack English, Frank Raby, and stores in Seldovia

Changes in Seldovia from ferry transportation, earthquake, Urban Renewal, and canneries

Running the Knight Spot bar

Logging and mining

Changes in fishing

Running a boat during the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Boardwalk days in Seldovia, local taxi service, and plywood bars

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JAN YAEGER: So it is January 8th, 2015. This is Jan Yaeger, speaking with Joseph Carlough, also known as Josie.

And this is an interview for the "In Our Own Words Project" of Seldovia Village Tribe, and we are in the Seldovia Village Tribe Senior Meals Room.

Josie, you were born in Seldovia or near Seldovia?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, I was born in Port Chatham. Portlock. That's about thirty miles down the coast from here. It was a little -- it was -- what it was, it was just a little -- a little village.

It had a cannery, smokehouse and a big sawmill that they cut all the capping for the traps around here. Then I moved to Seldovia when I was about nine.

JAN YAEGER: And why did your family move?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, there was nothing down there. They had a big fire and everything burned up, so we just moved up here.

JAN YAEGER: Did many people from Port Chatham, Portlock, move at the same time?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, we moved here and then a lot of them just moved down to Port Graham. The rest of the people that were down there, they -- there was a school down there.

JAN YAEGER: And what about your parents? Where were they from?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, my parents -- my mom was from down -- she was born in Port Graham.

And then my dad, he was from down, down the States, but he was working on a pile driver and he got killed when he -- when I was about one year old, I guess, so I really didn't know him.

JAN YAEGER: So you grew up with just your mom, then?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. I did. And then every summer I'd -- while I was living down Port -- Portlock or Port Chatham, I'd go fishing with the Nilsons. They had a cannery down there. 'Til I moved to Seldovia.

And then after I got here, well, I just -- I went fishing every summer. And then when I was sixteen, I worked for Squeaky Anderson running a little tugboat.

And then after that, I got a -- the cannery gave me a salmon boat and I went salmon fishing. I went salmon fishing for quite -- for years and then started crab fishing here.

JAN YAEGER: What were some of your duties with the tugboat? That's -- it's the first I've heard of a tugboat in Seldovia area.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: It was just a little, tiny boat. Just a little tug that towed the gurry scows out in the bay and dumped them.

JAN YAEGER: Okay. How many years did you do that?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, I done that for, oh, just a year.

Then I started -- then I started in the salmon fishing. I started fishing up in the Inlet. Gillnetting.

JAN YAEGER: So that would have been about 1950 or so?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, I guess it would be, yeah. And then I salmon-fished until I started crab fishing. Crab-fished here in the bay and then across the -- across the Inlet (Cook Inlet) over there.

And then in '50 -- in '60 -- '63, I guess, '62 or '63, I moved to Kodiak. And I started fishing crab over there.

And then I bought a boat in '65. And I fished over in Kodiak for quite a few years. I tendered -- tendered herring.

And, I don't know, in '50 -- what'd my wife say, '55, I guess, we started tendering or -- I run a boat for Icicle Seafoods over in Bristol Bay and then we bought -- my brother and I got a boat named the "Lady Jessie."

And I started tendering. Tendering and crabfishing with that. Every year we'd start in Bristol Bay and then we'd come to the Inlet and then go to Prince William Sound. And a couple years down southeastern.

JAN YAEGER: What species of crabs were you fishing?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: King crab and tanners. Yeah.

And I was over in Kodiak during the earthquake. So --

JAN YAEGER: Were you in -- on shore during the earthquake? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: What was that like?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, boy, it just -- by the time I -- my son was downtown getting a haircut. By the time I got out the door, the car had shaken down about eight feet in our yard.

And it just -- boy, the ground was cracking open and we just -- I run down, got my son and he just had a haircut on one side. Just lucky the barber took care -- kept him there.

And then we went up on Pillar Mountain and watched the whole thing. The swells come in and washed the town away.

JAN YAEGER: Did you kind of anticipate that a wave was coming? Is that why you went up high?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Well, they predicted there was going to be, you know, because the earthquake was so bad. So we went up there and watched the whole -- swells come in and the boats rolling over.

Canneries rolling into the water. It was really something. So --

JAN YAEGER: And what brought you back to Seldovia?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, after the earthquake, I just figured I better -- we -- so we just bundled up the kids and moved back to Seldovia. And then I worked out of here, you know, with the "Lady Jessie." We fished the Bering Sea, Adak.

JAN YAEGER: So the "Lady Jessie" survived the wave? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Huh?

JAN YAEGER: Where was the -- your boat when the wave came in?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: We got the "Lady Jessie" after the earthquake. JAN YAEGER: Oh, okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Picked it up in Seattle. It was a -- a ninety-foot power scow, something like the "Alliance." JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I mean, you know, like Giles' boat. JAN YAEGER: The "Guardian?" JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I run that for years and then we sold it.

When I got -- when I was done fishing, then I went over to -- went over to Seward and run a boat over there for eleven years for Kenai Fjords. Run a tour boat.

And then I went down to Seattle when they were building the "Kachemak Voyager" and I was down there while they were building it. Most -- just the last month and a half, I guess.

And then we brought it up and then I worked on there until a couple years ago. JAN YAEGER: Okay. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: So I ran that.

JAN YAEGER: I was just actually wondering about that yesterday, what it was like bringing the "Voyager" up from Seattle.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it was just, you know, I brought -- brought -- made several trips back and forth. But we had to stop at night because there's so many logs.

'Cause if you run into a log with that thing there, you know, you'd do a lot of damage. So every night we'd just tie up someplace. We'd have to fuel up anyway, we'd burn so much fuel. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: How long did it take to bring it up?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, about six days, I guess. Something like that.

JAN YAEGER: And how did it handle in the Gulf (of Alaska)?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, it was pretty good. We had pretty good weather coming up. I guess it -- had about 25, 30 southwest coming across the Gulf, but -- They're not very good bucking, those boats there. But --

JAN YAEGER: So what was it like being a kid in Seldovia? And I know -- I know, you weren't a real small child when you were here. You said you were about nine?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, well, we just -- you know, just -- we lived up -- we lived up the bay up here. And when I went to school I'd have to come to school every morning. Walk to school and then -- and then have to walk back home at night.

And then in the later years -- I think in the ninth grade, I had to quit school and take care of my mom so -- And then I was just -- been in the fishing business ever since. JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: But I worked for Icicle Seafoods for years. I think probably twenty years. Twenty-five years.

I used to tender herring up in the -- up in Bristol Bay and Togiak. All I done when I tendered herring up there, I -- I was a tender for just one boat. And I'd follow him wherever he went. Every night we'd put our airplane on deck.

And then one day just the pilot took off and never came back. He just -- some airplane came underneath him and they had a wreck and that's -- so we lost our airplane and the pilot. But I don't know.

JAN YAEGER: And did you fish herring yourself, ever? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Pardon?

JAN YAEGER: Did you fish herring yourself? Or did you just tender herring?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I never did fish herring myself, no. Just tendered herring. When I had the "Primus" I tendered across the Inlet and Prince WIlliam Sound for Icicle Seafoods. That was a 79-foot wooden boat.

But I fished Kodiak with that one and done really good because it was just -- seemed after the earthquake the crab were just everywhere.

And all the canneries were washed away so I had delivered -- delivered crab to this one cannery when they needed it, and that was one cannery that didn't wash away. So whenever I came in, I just -- they'd unload me right away.

JAN YAEGER: And where was that? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Kodiak. JAN YAEGER: Kodiak. Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: But we'd leave Kodiak at ten o'clock at night and be back seven o'clock the next morning. Just -- there was lots of crab.

And then I fished the Bering Sea for -- for crab and tanners. Opilio. And I just got up to the age where it was getting too much for me, so --

JAN YAEGER: Yeah. I think the Bering Sea can generate a lot of stories.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, boy, we was in some bad blows there. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: Is that where you had -- probably the worst weather of your fishing was in the Bering Sea?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Yeah, we got the one blow there where our meter was at a hundred -- a hundred and twenty miles an hour. And -- that's as far as it went, and the other boat said we had winds up to a hundred and fifty.

Boy, that was terrible weather. We washed all our deckboards off. Had freezer on each side of the boat up on top and washed them off.

Yeah, it took us three days to get back in to -- back in to deliver. It was still blowing ninety when we got in to deliver, so -- We had some weather out there.

JAN YAEGER: You said you worked for Squeaky Anderson for awhile. What do you remember about him?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, he was -- when we lived in Port Chatham, he -- there was a fleet of boats came in. And he was -- he was a -- what he was, a -- Navy, he was way up there. What the heck do we call him?

He was a commander or something of the whole, you know, and then he brought all these boats and he put them on the beach and painted the bottom and then the -- he come to Seldovia and took over the cannery here.

And that's when I met him and he put me to work. And then I just worked for him for one year and then I started fishing.

JAN YAEGER: Which cannery did he have? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Huh? J

AN YAEGER: Which cannery did he have?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I think it was -- boy, I don't remember the name of it. It was -- all I know is Squeaky Anderson.

JAN YAEGER: What was he like as a person?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, he was just a character. He hollered a lot. You know, he just -- yeah, he was a character.

He was mayor here, I think, when I was a kid, too, and he shut the bars down at eight o'clock at night.

And then the fishermen, well, they'd just go ahead and have a party on their boats. So he didn't slow the drinking down any. And that was before area fishing come in and all the people from all over -- Cordova and Kodiak and Seattle, they'd all come here, fish out of Seldovia.

JAN YAEGER: And he lived up where the Chissus house is now, right? Was -- JOSEPH CARLOUGH: What's that?

JAN YAEGER: Where Paul and Jenny Chissus live, that was his house at one point, wasn't it?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, that was a different Anderson. JAN YAEGER: Oh, okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, that was Juanita Anderson. She owned the dock and -- the city dock and all, you know, handled all the freight and stuff. JAN YAEGER: Okay. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: When I heard "the Anderson dock," I always assumed it was Squeaky. But it was someone else? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: It was, yeah, it was Juanita Anderson.

JAN YAEGER: Do you know how he got the name Squeaky?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I don't, no. Just because he hollered a lot, I guess. Yeah, he was always hollering at somebody.

And he was quite a bit against drinking and he never slowed the fishermen down in their drinking.

JAN YAEGER: Who were some of the other people that you remember from when you were young here?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, AYR Fisheries, that was another cannery I worked for. That's when I -- fishing for them when I rolled the boat over.

JAN YAEGER: Was that the herring -- herring boat? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, that was salmon.

JAN YAEGER: Okay. What happened?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, we got across the Inlet and I loaded up the boat and loaded up the deck and then we covered the fish up with the seine.

The tender couldn't pick us up over there so I run to Seldovia. I don't know, took us thirteen hours, I guess, to come across.

And when I come into the dock here to unload, I put the engine in reverse and she just rolled right over. But the boat I had, I didn't realize that the fuel tanks were right in the bottom.

And as we were burning the fuel, well it started getting top-heavy. So when I got to the dock, it just rolled over. We lost all the fish. So they just give me another boat.

JAN YAEGER: Well, it seems like if you're gonna sink a boat, then right at the dock is a good place to do it.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, and it was high tide so we got the kids and everybody off the boat. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: What kind of changes did you see in the salmon fishing throughout the years?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, while I was -- I started salmon fishing. I fished up in the Inlet. And then I got drafted into the Army. So I spent a couple years in the Army. But one year when I got the summer off, I took a thirty-day leave and I went fishing in the Inlet again.

But I spent two years in the Army, up at Anchorage and Fort Richardson. Then I just spent the rest of my life fishing. Yeah, my wife worked with me for about twenty-five years.

JAN YAEGER: On the tenders?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Mm-hm. Yeah, she'd be with me in the summer. She never went crab fishing.

JAN YAEGER: So you came back to Seldovia in what year from Kodiak?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: We came back from -- oh, let me see. '64, '65. We came back to Seldovia in '65.

JAN YAEGER: Had Urban Renewal started when you got here or did it start afterward?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, yeah, they started -- I guess they start -- they were already tearing things up when we started moving back from Kodiak.

Used to be a nice little town 'til they tore it apart. 'Cause we had five can -- big canneries here. And then Wakefield had a crab cannery. We fished for them when -- during the crab season around here.

JAN YAEGER: Do you remember how long Wakefield stayed after the Urban Renewal? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Who?

JAN YAEGER: Wakefield Cannery? Do you remember how long they stayed here?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, they must have been here for five, six years anyway. Maybe longer.

JAN YAEGER: Okay. So maybe around 1970 or so they finally pulled out?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. But they -- yeah, they had -- they done a lot of crab. 'Cause it was good fishing around here them days.

And we had -- we had -- oh, well, I had my boat and then there was four, five other big boats that fished.

JAN YAEGER: So you fished for Wakefield, then?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, they were the only cannery here.

JAN YAEGER: So after they pulled out, then what did you do?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, I was -- by that time, we'd had the "Lady Jessie" and then I'd just fish out of -- tender for Icicle.

And then after tendering, I'd go down to the -- out to the Bering Sea. Fish out there.

JAN YAEGER: And you fished with your brother?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No. My brother, he had other boats.

JAN YAEGER: Was that Howard?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Yeah. He had three other boats, I think. He had bigger boats.

JAN YAEGER: You said the "Lady Jessie" was ninety-some feet, right? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: So he had some -- he had some very big boats, then.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Yeah, he had -- I think the biggest boat that he had was a hundred and -- hundred and twenty-six feet. Something -- he had Marco boats.

But that's all I've done all my life is fish. And then run -- run tour boats. That was a good job over in Seward.

JAN YAEGER: What about going to school here? What do you remember about that?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah, I just -- I went to school. 'Til the first year of high and then I just -- and then I quit, so. Went fishing, took care of my mom.

JAN YAEGER: Do you remember who any of the teachers were?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, gosh, that's a long time ago.

JAN YAEGER: Did you have several grades in one class or did each --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, mostly, yeah, everybody was just mostly in a couple rooms.

JAN YAEGER: So younger kids in one class and older kids in another?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, then they -- then when the steamship would come in to load the -- load the salmon, they'd let us all go down and go to work.


JAN YAEGER: Even the young ones? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Huh? JAN YAEGER: Even the young kids? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, the older ones. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: And what did that involve? What kind of work were you doing?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, they just -- you'd stack -- stack salmon -- salmon boxes. You'd get down in the ship and then you'd just -- they'd load the stuff in slings and then you'd just stack it up.

'Cause there was a lot of salmon went out of here with five canneries.

JAN YAEGER: Yeah. So how often would that happen?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, just, you know, during the summer they'd come in and -- well, you know, the summer, well, they'd come in the -- them big ships come in about once a month. They'd bring freight in and bring freight out.

And that -- at that time, you know, they had mail boats that would run from Seattle to here and out the -- out the chain. That's the way you got your mail.

JAN YAEGER: So that was about once a month, to get mail, too? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: What was that like, when the mail boat came in?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, I don't know, I didn't -- then I wasn't getting any mail, so --

JAN YAEGER: Ah. You were a little too young?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. I've made several trips from Seattle. From here to Seattle and back.

I adopted a couple -- couple boys and they were -- I brought them up from Seattle when they were -- they were three years old, I guess, and we got in a really bad storm.

And those kids, they had little booster chairs and they'd slide back and forth down in the galley and had a ball.


JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Yeah, that was a tough trip. But just -- my life wasn't too interesting. Just worked all the time.

JAN YAEGER: So when you'd get out of school to go load salmon boats, would you get paid for it, then?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh yeah, yeah.

JAN YAEGER: How much would they pay?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Geez, I don't remember.

JAN YAEGER: Pay you by the box or by the day, or --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, by the hour. JAN YAEGER: By the hour? Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, how many hours you worked.

JAN YAEGER: So the whole -- like the whole high school would go down and go load boxes?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, the older ones that could work, yeah, they'd let them go to work.

So I don't know. I don't know what else you need to know. I just spent my whole life fishing.

JAN YAEGER: I guess I'm interested, too, like I said, in some of the people in town that you remember. Who -- like, do you remember Jack English, or --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah, I remember Jack English, the magistrate here.

JAN YAEGER: And the Nutbeems. And what was he like?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, he was a character. He -- yeah, he was magistrate, and if you got in trouble, you know, you had to go in front of him. So he just -- his wife run the post office.

JAN YAEGER: And was that an elected position, or appointed? How did he become magistrate, do you know?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, I don't know. In them days, I think you more or less appointed yourself. JAN YAEGER: Oh, really?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. You know, like Frank Raby. He owned the store here. And he had a lot of land. And I --

JAN YAEGER: And he's someone else I haven't heard much about. I'd like to learn more about him.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, he had that store and then he had a lot of land and he -- you know, when they surveyed his land, if he didn't like what they surveyed, he'd just move the sticks.


JAN YAEGER: And what -- which store was his? Do you remember the name of it?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Ah, it was the Seldovia Mercantile, I think. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: And was that all sorts of goods that he had in there?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, he sold everything.

JAN YAEGER: Was that the really big one that -- it kind of was on pilings out over the water?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it -- yeah, there was two stores. There was H. S. Young and then -- and then the other store, they fin -- they connected together. In one end was a clothing store, but they sold everything.

JAN YAEGER: Which end was the clothing store? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Pardon?

JAN YAEGER: Young's end or Frank Raby's end that was the clothing --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it was the Young's that had the clothing store and then they just merged, I guess.

JAN YAEGER: And what was he like, Frank Raby?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, I don't know. Gosh, I was pretty young then, anyways. So I didn't -- you know.

JAN YAEGER: There was a couple other clothing stores, too, right?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, Lipke had a clothing store. And I think her husband ran the radio station they had. There was a radio station for --

JAN YAEGER: So you were probably here when the "Tustamena" started running.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, when the "Tustamena" started running, I had the "Primus" and we were fishing crab in Kodiak and delivering here.

But I remember when the "Tustamena" used to anchor up, we used to just come right through with the crab boats. The "Tustamena" was short at one time, you know, and then they cut it in half.

JAN YAEGER: Mm, that's right.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: And lengthened it out, put stabilizers on it.

JAN YAEGER: Did that change life in Seldovia much, when you had regular ferry transportation?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh yeah, that was -- that helped a lot, the town, you know. But it was after the canneries were all gone.

Urban Renewal come in. The canneries were gonna -- said they'd rebuild, but after they got their money, they just took off.

JAN YAEGER: Everyone except Wakefield, right?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Pardon? JAN YAEGER: I said, everyone except Wakefield, right? Wakefield came back for a little bit.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, Wakefield built right af -- well, right after the earthquake. And then they sold it to somebody up in Anchorage. I don't remember what outfit it was.

And they ran it for a year or so and then that was it.

JAN YAEGER: And then there was a little shrimp cannery for awhile, right?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: That shrimp cannery was in this building here. And I think a couple Japanese guys or something ran it.

JAN YAEGER: And so was that local people that were fishing for that?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Let me see. Yeah, there was local -- local people because they done shrimp over in the -- the main -- main shrimp boats delivered in Homer.

JAN YAEGER: And where were they fishing for that?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Just the Kachemak Bay, here. Yeah, there was a lot of shrimp then.

And I also had a bar here, right. Had the Knight Spot bar.

JAN YAEGER: Oh, you did? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. JAN YAEGER: Oh, I didn't know that.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, I had that, and then I got a divorce and I just gave her the bar, so -- I shoulda gave her the boat and kept the bar.

JAN YAEGER: What was it like running a bar here?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, just them younger days. The town was pretty wild. I didn't tend bar much myself.

JAN YAEGER: So there was the Knight Spot and the Linwood, and then there was another one, too, right?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Let me see. The Linwood, the Knight Spot. What was the name of the other one? Gosh, it was right next to the Linwood. Yeah, I don't even remember.

JAN YAEGER: Did you start the Knight Spot or did you buy it from someone else?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, we got it from the guy that built the -- built the store here. He started it out and then we bought it from him.

JAN YAEGER: What was his name?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Uh. Yeah, gosh, I don't remember now. But anyway, he had that place built, you know, right after the earthquake.

So that's why it's not -- cold as it is. You gotta borrow a bunch of money and then just put it all into the -- into the building.

JAN YAEGER: And where was the Knight Spot located?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: In the -- (points next door to the SNA market building)

JAN YAEGER: It was in that building? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Down in that far corner. JAN YAEGER: Okay. Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Had a restaurant and -- bar and a restaurant.

JAN YAEGER: So when you bought the Knight Spot, did you acquire the whole building, then, or just the --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, just the -- JAN YAEGER: Just the business?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, just the bar and the restaurant.

JAN YAEGER: Did you have sort of one crowd that went to the Linwood and one crowd that went to the Knight Spot, or did people --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, they just went all over.

JAN YAEGER: People -- everyone went anywhere? Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it was -- and there was another bar named the Polar Bar. But you know, in them days everybody was just -- when you weren't fishing you were drinking. Chuck Knight owned the store.

JAN YAEGER: Chuck Knight? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Chuck Knight.

JAN YAEGER: Well, that would explain the kn-- the name, then. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Huh?

JAN YAEGER: I said, that would explain the name. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: So how many years did you have the bar?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, I had it about three years.

JAN YAEGER: And were you fishing at the same time?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. And then I got a divorce and I just gave -- I had a partner in the bar and I just gave my -- my share to my wife and just walked out. So --

JAN YAEGER: So drinking and fishing. There must have been a few other things going on in Seldovia.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. Well, a lot of logging. Yeah, there was logging -- logging people here for years.

Then they had the chrome mine up on Red Mountain.

JAN YAEGER: Did the mine employ a lot of people?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, I don't remember how many people worked there. They had a -- you know, they had a tunnel from up on the mountain that went all the way down.

You can still see the tunnel out there when you -- you know, they loaded the ships out -- out in Jakolof Bay.

JAN YAEGER: Mm-hm. Yeah, I've looked for it a couple times, but I haven't found it yet. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, really?

JAN YAEGER: But I think, I think I haven't been there at the right tide. So --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it's just -- it's right on the -- right alongside the road.

JAN YAEGER: Oh, okay. I've looked from the water. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, you'd -- JAN YAEGER: I've looked for the opening. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Never see it from the water. JAN YAEGER: Okay, I've looked for the opening from the -- JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No. JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: It's up -- up at the road level.

JAN YAEGER: People kind of stayed up at the mine, right? They didn't try and go back and forth very much.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, when they had that mine there, they didn't have a road then until they started logging.

JAN YAEGER: So how did they get up there?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, they used to fly with an airplane from here. Like when they first started logging.

Uh - Gruber, Bob Gruber, had an airline here and he'd fly them all to work in the morning and then bring them back at night. JAN YAEGER: Oh, okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: They had that little airstrip out there.

JAN YAEGER: So was Bob Gruber -- was he one of the first pilots around here?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: He was -- yeah, he owned, you know, the airline, Homer Air. And then he -- yeah, he lived in Seldovia.

And he was -- well, a guy named Choquette was -- owned before him and then they -- then Bob Gruber bought it. He'd fly all the loggers out and fly them back.

JAN YAEGER: So they went back and forth every day? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. JAN YAEGER: Oh my.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, you know. Yeah, he flew some bad weather, that guy. But he was a good pilot.

JAN YAEGER: And there was a little airstrip up by the mine?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. You know where -- you don't know where the airstrip out in Jakolof?

JAN YAEGER: Ah, I haven't seen one down in Jakolof. I've seen an area up close to the mine itself that I wondered if it was an airstrip at one time.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, you go down -- well, you go -- you know where all them crab buoys are at? Just up ahead of that, there's a airfield right along the beach there. That's where he landed everybody.

JAN YAEGER: And so would they walk up from there, or was there --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, I guess they'd, you know, get in their trucks and take them. JAN YAEGER: Okay. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Go to work.

JAN YAEGER: You said the road went in with the logging, so that was about what decade?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Gosh, I don't remember what date they built that road.

JAN YAEGER: Like late, late '60s or early '70s, maybe? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: Was that kind of the first time there was much logging around here?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, they -- that's where they logged a lot up there. It's quite a few years, I guess.

JAN YAEGER: And did that change the feeling in town when all the loggers came in? J

OSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, no, just, you know, the fishermen and the loggers didn't get along too good, so -- J

AN YAEGER: Oh, really?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah. But just -- there was quite a few of them. A lot of them come up from Outside.

JAN YAEGER: Did it create any jobs for the local people or was it mostly people from Outside?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, there was quite a few local people that worked out there.

JAN YAEGER: Did the logging start because of the beetles coming in or did that -- just because people wanted --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, there was no beetles then, no. But it's a shame now that they're letting all these trees just die. J

AN YAEGER: I saw a reference a few days ago to spruce bark beetle that was a lot earlier than I thought and that was one of the reasons I was wondering.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah. Them beetles, they -- you know, you go over to Homer and you look across the bay in the summer time. The trees are all red from just dying. That's a shame to let all that go to waste.

JAN YAEGER: And so did the -- the logs were brought out to Seldovia and shipped out from here? Or where did they ship logs from?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: They -- no, they loaded them on barges and ships out -- out in Jakolof Bay. JAN YAEGER: Okay.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: The logging ships would come in and they'd raft them out there. And they'd load them out there.

Yeah, they hired local people and -- to load the ships.

JAN YAEGER: How big were those boats? It doesn't seem like Jakolof would handle terribly large boats.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, they anchored -- well, they anchored out, you know, by McDonald Spit. They never did go into Jakolof Bay. But they were big ships with a lot of logs.

JAN YAEGER: Do you know where they went?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Japan. I think the Japs bought all the logs.

JAN YAEGER: You would have been -- oh, go ahead.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, I said, I just don't know much except fishing, so --

JAN YAEGER: Fishing's been a big part of life in Seldovia.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. No, there wasn't much except, you know, fishing and logging.

And then the earlier days, you know, before area licensing come in, all the boats would come from different places and there'd be a couple thousand people here, fishermen.

JAN YAEGER: Now, would that be all year round, or was that mostly just --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, just during the salmon season.

JAN YAEGER: Just in salmon, okay. So where would -- where do you put a couple thousand people in Seldovia? Were they camping and on their boats, or --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, they stayed on their boats. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: So it was mostly adults, then.?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah, yeah. No, they stayed on their boats when they were here. But it was just for a couple months.

JAN YAEGER: What kind of -- changes did you see when they implemented the area fishing compared to when it was wide open?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, it just slowed everything down. When the area licensing come in, you could just fish -- fish in the Inlet area, you know. We couldn't go to Prince William Sound, except for herring.

And then they -- Well, I worked the oil spill, too. I run a boat for the oil spill. Yeah, they -- that was a big farce. That really didn't -- they didn't really -- they paid a lot of money but they didn't really want to clean up too much.

But they made a lot of money. You know, the guys that worked for them.

JAN YAEGER: Did you run a boat in Prince William Sound?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, in -- I run a boat here in the Inlet. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: How much oiling did you see here in the Inlet?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, we got -- we got a lot of oil down -- you know, down around the islands down there. Pearl and down Port Dick. Chugach.

'Cause I was running a boat for -- from here to Seward for some -- for a guy. And then the oil spill happened and we could smell the oil way before we run into it, you know. It was just -- I don't know, inch or so thick in the water.

And then I took the boat over and I came right back and then I started going to work for cleaning up the oil.

JAN YAEGER: What was your specific job in the cleanup?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: I was running a boat. I just hauled a crew from -- I'd haul the crew out to the beaches so they could pick up oil.

JAN YAEGER: You never transported oil itself? You were just mostly running people?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, I just took the people to the beach and then the barge come and pick up the oil bags.

JAN YAEGER: And were they -- they power-washing? I've seen various pictures where they were, you know --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: In Prince William Sound they done power-washing. They didn't do any here. They just picked up the mud balls off the beach.

It was just, you know, they spent a lot of money doing nothing, really.

But you could go down there now and dig down a ways and you could still see oil in the -- But see, Prince William Sound never did come back for herring, since that oil spill.

JAN YAEGER: When you smelled the oil, was that the first you knew about it, or how did you hear about the spill?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, that's -- when I got to Seward, I heard about it. And then I just, let me see, how'd I get -- I delivered a boat and then they just drove me back here.

And I just started -- went to work for -- to haul oil. Yeah, they paid big bucks in them days.

JAN YAEGER: Was Exxon giving direction, or who was directing what should happen and where?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, well, they had a -- down on Pearl Island, they had a main office. There was a -- there was a -- and then, oh, there was -- they had -- from Port Graham they had a boss there that took care of those people that went to work and then they had here was --

oh, what's his name out here that -- He's building that new house out there? He's in the --

JAN YAEGER: I don't know.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: He just built that big new house out there. They got a house right here in town. Well, he was one of our bosses, anyway.

And then I had -- I had a guy on my boat that -- he stayed on the boat with us. And he was from Outside. And he -- he stayed on the boat. He was kind of in charge, too, so --

And we went up in the Inlet and picked up, you know, oil balls and stuff.

JAN YAEGER: Yeah, that was quite an event.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, it was. It was a mess. So that's all I've done.

JAN YAEGER: Do you remember the, the boardwalk days?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: And how would you say Seldovia is different with and without the boardwalk?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, I don't know if it would ever change if there was an earthquake or not. But just, you know, the boardwalk was just big enough to -- for like, for one car to go down, you know.

You couldn't pass or anything. It was just, just boardwalk along the -- along the shoreline.

JAN YAEGER: Probably not too many cars in town at all in those days.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, they had a little taxi service here. JAN YAEGER: Oh, really? JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: Who ran that? Do you remember?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, a guy named George Cook. yeah. He's passed away, now. Yeah, they had a little taxi here.

JAN YAEGER: Do you remember what kind of car he used?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: No, I don't remember. But the other bar we were talking about was the Surf Club. JAN YAEGER: Oh, okay. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah.

JAN YAEGER: And would people use the taxis to get home from the bars or -- ?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Oh, yeah. Well, they had, you know, after the earthquake they had plywood bars here.

JAN YAEGER: Plywood bars?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, they just built up, you know, because the other bars, you know, were flooded and they tore them down or something.

But in Kodiak, within -- after the earthquake, I think within three days, they had several bars up.

JAN YAEGER: Oh, really?

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah. That was the first thing they built. Just, you know, just little bars out of plywood.

'Cause everything else in Kodiak was washed away.

JAN YAEGER: And so they did the same thing here? Plywood bars during --

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Well, nothing was washed away, it just --

JAN YAEGER: Yeah, during Urban Renewal, maybe.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: -- the land sank. And then the tide would come into the buildings.

JAN YAEGER: Well, thank you very much for talking with me.

JOSEPH CARLOUGH: Yeah, well, I don't know very -- JAN YAEGER: I appreciate it. JOSEPH CARLOUGH: -- much, so --

JAN YAEGER: Oh, you know, that's -- well, we're just looking for your memories and stories.