Alaskan homesteaders

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
Dick Proenneke

Spent 30 years alone in a cabin in remote Alaska

Richard Louis "Dick" Proenneke (May 4, 1916 – April 20, 2003) was an amateur naturalist who lived alone for nearly thirty years in the mountains of Alaska in a log cabin he had constructed by hand near the shore of Twin Lakes. Proenneke hunted, fished, raised and gathered his own food, and also had supplies flown in occasionally. He documented his activities in journals and on film, and also recorded valuable meteorological and natural data. The journals and film were later used by others to write books and produce documentaries about his time in the wilderness.

Proenneke remained at Twin Lakes for the next sixteen months when he left to go home for a time to visit relatives and secure more supplies. He returned to the lakes in the following spring and remained there for most of the next thirty years, going to the contiguous United States only occasionally to be with his family. He made a film record of his solitary life which was later recut and made into the documentary Alone in the Wilderness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Proenneke
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
Les & Norma Cobb (plus a boat load of kids)

Norma's book claims they panned gold on their homestead to the tune of $1.2 million. She was the last female homesteader in Alaska.

As far as Norma was concerned it was a God thing founded in her dreams for her family! The Cobb’s ages were young for five kids adventuring into the bush country–Sid 9 years old, Sean 6, Tom 3, and the twin girls-Cara & Cora 1 1/2.

Moving to Alaska in November, 1973 preparing to start homesteading our land in the spring of 1974 created a lot of unexpected adventure and heartache in our lives–bad roads, spring breakup not complete, a child shot, unfriendly locals, valley not able to be accessed without big issues, unforeseen nature problems, and worst of all, just not knowing what we were to do next in order to develop our valley paradise in the isolated backwoods and deepest wilderness that Alaska offered for the Cobb clan.

Our minds just had no idea when we started this chapter of our lives. Learning as we went along and meeting other homesteaders or miners for helpful suggestions, hints, advice about this bewildering but intriguing land that lay ahead of us to develop and conquer. Definitely, no substitute for experience and trial-n-error in God’s country. Mother nature was always the upper hand in it all!

I would say homesteading the interior Alaskan back country was the most challenging experience that each of the Cobb clan had accomplished in their lives. Who can put a value on the lessons learned in life or challenges met full bore in order to accomplish ones final goals and dreams? Knowing in the final count down, it will shape everything you do and are or fail in the process leaving you wanting and confused. Wondering if you ever could have made a success of your endeavors or even followed that dream to its final hour.

Will power and survival are the names of the game. Sometimes you just don’t know what your truly made of til you try something in life that challenges every fiber of your body, heart, mind, and soul. I pray my children will always go for the gusto of life knowing that they have given it their all!!!!
Cobb_1_3-16.jpg

http://adventureinalaska.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/why-did-i-write-my-book-arctic-homestead/

http://www.redrocknews.com/Featured/woman-answers-the-call-of-the-wild-in-alaska.html
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
Alexander Supertramp AKA Chris McCandless

While not a true homesteader, he's still a very interesting character in Alaskan folklore. Dozens of people from around the world trek to his last residence in Healy, AK. Sean Penn directed a movie about his life, Into the Wild.

Christopher Johnson McCandless (February 12, 1968 – August 1992) was an American hiker who adopted the alias Alexander Supertramp and ventured into the Alaskan wilderness in April 1992 with little food and equipment, hoping to live simply for a time in solitude. Almost four months later, McCandless's starved remains were found, weighing only 67 pounds (30 kg). His death occurred in a converted bus used as a backcountry shelter, near Lake Wentitika in Denali National Park and Preserve.
220px-Chris_McCandless.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_McCandless
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
Kenneth Deardorff, the last Alaskan Homesteader

Somebody had to be the last one.

In 1974, a young Vietnam veteran and native Californian named Kenneth Deardorff filed a homestead claim on 80 acres of land on the Stony River in southwestern Alaska. Over the next ten years, he and his family lived on and worked the land. He built all the buildings on the property from white spruce trees. He fished for salmon and hunted moose and other wild game for food and often woke up in the morning to find grizzly bears in his front yard. Transportation was limited to a boat or a dog team. Temperatures often dipped as low as 65 degrees below zero.

America's last homesteader dealt with many of the same challenges as his historical predecessors. Wildlife, extreme weather, the difficulties of farming, battling fire, isolation, all were commonplace for Deardorff and his family in the Alaskan wilderness. At the same time, his homesteading experience was also very different. Early homesteaders did not have boats in which to travel or power tools to help build homes. Planes could not be chartered when travel to far-away spots was necessary.
lasthomesteaderBI285.jpg

http://www.nps.gov/home/historyculture/lasthomesteader.htm
 

mamatutu

mama to two
Really great stories! Just another example of how much members would miss if not for this forum. Thanks for posting. Incredible stuff. You and my hub would get along really well. He loves going into the wilderness and winging it. He hasn't done that so much since he met me! I like the creature comforts, but I have the man with a plan if it becomes necessary. :lol:
 

acommondisaster

Active Member
While not a true homesteader, he's still a very interesting character in Alaskan folklore. Dozens of people from around the world trek to his last residence in Healy, AK. Sean Penn directed a movie about his life, Into the Wild.



View attachment 104037

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_McCandless
I remember reading an article about this guy some years ago and thinking what an idiot he was. About as stupid a guy as one can be; unprepared, inexperienced - I would guess (and it's just a guess) that he was coddled his entire life and figured things would just work out - kind of like those people who think if we tell the terrorists we're all citizens of the same world, they'll become our friends and we'll all get along. I agree with the park ranger who summed it up by saying he'd basically committed suicide.
 

Hannibal

Active Member
Check out the movie "Into the Wild" which is about this kid and his story. Decent movie with a great soundtrack (Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam).
 

Baja28

Obama destroyed America
I love the Alaskan wilderness shows on Nat. Geo. They live a totally different life up there.
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
I love the Alaskan wilderness shows on Nat. Geo. They live a totally different life up there.
I've recently spent parts of 5 summers in Alaska. The folks living there are sure a different breed. They are very self reliant. I admire that trait in them. Most just want to be left alone to do their thing. They are very careful to not infringe on those around them. But they also don't want anyone bothering them.

Plenty of people fantasize about living there. The one's that hack it will relocate quickly. The hardier stock will flourish in that environment. Then they will marry someone just as tough. Many supplement their food stocks with fish & game. Nothing better than fresh caught salmon or halibut for dinner.

Alaska is truly an outdoors man's paradise. Plenty of daylight in the summer. Millions of acres of undeveloped land. Critters all over the place. I saw over 70 bald eagles 1 day down at the beach along the Sterling highway north of Homer. I hope to get back there soon.
 

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
I think I met Deardorff back in 82-83 when he dog-sledded up to our site at Sparrevohn to purchase some ammunition from our on-site exchange. Cool dude and he had a great team of dogs. :yay:
 

frequentflier

happy to be living
I love the Alaskan wilderness shows on Nat. Geo. They live a totally different life up there.
We caught one last week on Nat Geo that talked about McCandless (starving in the bus). And about a couple that went up there to live with the bears. The bears ended up eating them and the last 6 minutes of the man's life were recorded on their video camera with the sounds of him being eaten alive by a bear. I cannot imagine listening to that. In fact, the thought has haunted me since watching the show.
 
Top