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Steven Attla, Interview 1

This is a continuation of an interview conducted with Steven and Catherine Attla at their home in Huslia, Alaska on July 22, 1992 with Wendy Arundale. This is a continuation from tape number Oral History 93-14-21 and 93-15-22. Although the first interview was with both Steven and Catherine Attla and took place on July 22, 1992, this second interview is just with Steven Attla and took place on July 24, 1992. In this interview, Steven talks about old timers he remembered who used to live along the Koyukuk River.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-57

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Jul 24, 1992
Narrator(s): Steven Attla, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Wendy Arundale
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

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


1) Old timers along the Koyukuk River

2) More old timers

3) Old timer, James Les

4) Ernie Wingfield's big dog, Queenie

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: Hoagland, Joe\ prospector\ miner -- hard work; thirty years\ personality -- friendly; talker\ Natives -- worked for him\ father -- only time he worked for wages; one month\ Fairbanks -- accident, Joe died\ money -- left it behind, never found\ Norton, George -- found some of it, drank himself to death in Fairbanks\ Black Creek -- mining claim\ water -- scarce, Hoagland made dam of moss\ dam -- Natives hauled logs; automatic trap door; formed big lake\ Beetus, Joe -- hunting, came upon, didn't know what it was|

Section 2: Wingfield, Ernie\ resident -- long time, lived with Natives and whites\ potlatch -- always brought meat or something\ trapper\ Indian Mountain -- he took care of mining camp\ McGee -- mining operation\ winter -- went out trapping and never came back; lost\ garden -- he taught others how to\ personality -- everybody's friend; good man\ Hagget, Jack -- big, husky; lazy\ hunting -- bear story\ lynx -- snared one, sat in trap for whole year\ wood -- dogs in harness, never used sleigh\ McGee -- mining; got Hagget straightened up\ Fairbanks -- brought back dogs\ Busby, Bob -- dogs\ sickness -- miners sent him out to hospital where he died\ William, Lavine -- friendly with dogs\ Beetus, Joe\ Abraham, Old Man\ Hughes -- dogs stayed with Lavine\ gold rush -- over one hundred cabins in Hughes\ sawmill\ tractor -- gas cat\ horses -- horse barn\ hay -- grower\ trader\ Light, George -- store\ 1930 -- moved to Anchorage\ money -- bought property on fourth Avenue; bars, cafes\ died -- 1944|

Section 3: Les, James -- 1937, he and his wife arrived for mining\ money -- made $1500 and started store\ radio -- two way, made business, placed orders in town\ "Norseman" -- plane, refueled in Hughes\ Wien Airlines\ Kotzebue\ story -- 1938, wanted ax, got it next day by air\ James, Les -- wife, weather report to Wien\ Federal Aviation Administration\ post-master\ Hughes -- revived\ Beetus, Uncle Old Man\ store -- 1937-1970\ freight\ Natives -- worked for him\ Koyukuk River -- he served whole river at one time\ steamer\ Nulato\ Allakaket -- summer trip\ credit\ money -- cashed big checks for Attlas, held the money for them\ personality -- good, really took care of people\ retirement -- said he'd spend all his money; he did\ died -- asked to be buried in Hughes; Fairbanks; wrong|

Section 4: Queenie -- everybody knew it\ dog -- big, like bear\ personality -- friendly\ animals -- bear, wolf, afraid of that dog\ camp -- dog ran bear off\ hauling -- pulled seven foot basket sleigh; loaded, one dog|