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Lorraine and Bert Adams, Sr.
Bert and Lorraine Adams

Lorraine and Bert Adams, Sr. were interviewed on November 17, 1998 by Wayne Howell at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Yakutat, Alaska. In this interview, Bert talks about fishing and traveling during his childhood with his father. He also provides a descriptive account of the search and discovery of the village of Gus'eix. Lorraine recalls her own childhood and the history and stories that were passed down to her from her relatives. Bert, who writes under the pen names of Kadashan and Naats'keek (his Tlingit names), provided this project with five samples of his work that can be found in the Stories section.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2001-10-06

Project: Dry Bay
Date of Interview: Nov 17, 1998
Narrator(s): Bert Adams, Sr., Lorraine Adams
Interviewer(s): Wayne Howell
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Going on his first fishing trip at nine years old with his father.

2) Camping at the mouth of Williams Creek and finding an old western-style house.

3) Learning to make a bed; boats on the river; and visiting people.

4) Frank Dick's story of his journey up the Alsek, and spending the summer camping.

5) The schoolhouse burning down.

6) Bert Adams' father and Billy Geddes setting a trapline all the way down to the Akwe River and surviving winter hazards.

7) The airplane from town that dropped mail, supplies and Christmas presents; and the decision to move his fishing site to the Akwe River.

8) The death of his father; spending time with his grandmother; and looking for the village of Gus'eix.

9) Searching for the village of Gus'eix as a boy and finding its possible location as an older man.

10) Reconstructing the history of the abandoned village of Gus'eix.

11) Lorraine Adams talks about living in her grandfather's house and traveling by gas boat.

12) More about her father and hearing stories and learning about tribal history when she was a young girl.

13) The function of myths; and receiving her Tlingit names from Jenny Paddy.

14) The story of the man who her son is named after.

15) Dry Bay Chief George's family; and her appreciation of the Shangukeidée (Thunderbird) tribe.

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

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Section 1: Yakutat, AK\ fishing\ Adams, Bert -- mother\ Dry Bay\ Adams, Bert -- brother\ boat -- Italio\ Seattle, WA\ Edwards, Sigurd\ Dick, Frank\ Dick, Sam\ boats -- skiff\ boats -- gas\ sea sickness|

Section 2: Dry Bay\ boats -- skiff\ boats -- gas\ Alsek River\ engine -- in board\ tents\ sleeping bags\ Williams Creek\ king salmon\ snow -- May\ Williams, John -- house\ house -- western-style|

Section 3: Wick, Ira -- Norwegian\ Williams, John -- house\ camp -- flooded\ river -- travel\ boats -- gas\ Edwards, Sigurd\ Erickson, Gunner\ boats -- air\ business -- fish buying\ Alsek River\ people -- visiting\ seagulls -- eggs\ Dick, Frank\ Dick, Sam|

Section 4: Dick, Frank\ Dick, Sam\ Alsek River\ canoe\ glacier\ Haines\ Skagway\ boats -- steamboats\ Inside Passage\ Juneau\ Yakutat\ camping\ seagulls -- eggs\ Bert's mother\ Bert's brother\ fishing\ Summer\ schoolhouse -- burned\ trap\ Geddes, Billy -- sourdough|

Section 5: Geddes, Billy\ Alsek River\ family -- camping\ living conditions\ school -- mother\ book -- Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn\ school -- math\ winter -- wind\ cabin fever -- winter\ cabin -- roof|

Section 6: 
Geddes, Bill\ Bert's father\ trapline\ Akwe River\ Christmas -- storm\ winter -- snowdrifts\ trail -- breaking\ river -- ice|

Section 7: winter\ airplane -- mail\ airplane -- supplies\ air drop\ Christmas -- presents\ Christmas tree\ Geddes, Billy\ Bert's father\ homebrew\ fishing\ Akwe River\ Mortensen -- family\ camping -- sand spit\ cabin -- built|

Section 8: cabin -- log\ Bert's father -- death\ cancer\ Johnson, Minnie\ Dry Bay -- fishing\ school -- elementary\ Yakutat\ school -- Mt. Edgecumbe\ school -- Michigan\ food -- Native\ Akwe River\ Gus'eix -- village\ Far Out House\ Frog House\ Mountain House\ Whale House|

Section 9: Adams, Bert -- brother\ Gus'eix -- village\ sand dunes\ cabin\ Akwe River\ Dry Bay\ tribal houses|

Section 10: potlatch\ Dry Bay\ Gus'eix -- abandoned\ expedition\ trading\ hunting\ Lituya Bay\ supplies -- replenish\ Alaska -- Southeast\ Lynn Canal\ Chilkoots\ canoes\ Gus'eix -- survivors\ Yakutat\ shaman|

Section 11: tribal houses\ Williams, John -- grandfather\ Dry Bay\ dog -- Brandy\ sled\ Williams Creek\ Lituya Bay George\ father -- fisherman\ boats -- gas\ ocean -- currents\ glacier -- picnic\ job -- moving|

Section 12: father -- fisherman\ boat -- Italio\ Yakutat, AK\ boats -- gas\ fishermen\ food -- seal\ food -- salmon\ stories\ history -- tribal\ Adams, Lorraine -- father\ Thunderbird House\ Italio, Frank\ Shangukeidée\ George, Sam -- half-brother\ Lorraine's brother\ people -- origination|

Section 13: myths\ genealogy\ Grandma Annie\ George, Sam -- wife\ tribal houses\ naming\ reincarnation\ Paddy, Jenny\ Akwan, Jenny \ Dry Bay Chief George\ names -- Tlingit\ Dick, Frank\ potlatch\ George, Anna\ names - giving|

Section 14: names -- meaning\ Déexwudu.oo\ Bert Jr. -- Lorraine's son\ Gus'eix -- chief\ battle -- Yakutat\ chief -- killed\ Teikwiedi'\ Controller Bay\ battle -- cause\ battle -- Chilkoots\ Haines -- area\ Lituya Bay -- deaths\ tribes -- move\ Hoonah, AK\ Sitka, AK\ Dry Bay|

Section 15: Dry Bay Chief George -- family\ Lituya Bay George -- family\ Lituya Bay\ Dry Bay\ Déexwudu.oo\ Dry Bay George\ Galyáx Kaagwaantaan\ Bering River area\ Controller Bay\ drowning\ song -- Dry Bay George\ Dick, Maggie\ Italio, Frank\ stories\ Shangukeidée tribe|