Oral History Interviews:

Tor Holmboe

Tor Holmboe was born and raised in Norway. His family had a large commercial operation harvesting seals and polar bears. Tor served in the arctic ski patrol division of the Norwegian State Police following World War II. However, he grew frustrated with the government and left the country.

Holmboe arrived in the United States in 1954. He first came to Alaska in 1957 and soon moved to the territory permanently. He worked as a commercial fisherman until he could purchase his own boat for salmon and crab.

One day while reading the paper, Tor found an article about an attractive woman who was trapping on the Yukon River downstream from Eagle. Holmboe contacted the woman under mildly false pretenses. They met and married soon thereafter. Thus began Holmboe's life as a trapper.

Tor and Norma trapped the Yukon line on foot for many years. They were perfectly happy with their simple life. Unfortunately, a neighbor coveted some of their possessions. The neighbor stole the items and burned down their cabin. The Holmboes subsequently trapped in the headwaters of the White River, at Ptarmigan Lake in the Wrangell Mountains and near their home at Mentasta.

Tor served a brief tenure on the local Fish and Game Advisory Committee, an experience which he found less than satisfying. He shares his views on the Lands Act which created a multitude of new national parks and preserves. Holmboe also expounds upon his interactions with the many species of big game in the eastern Interior.

Tor's interview is enriched by his Norwegian accent and keen sense of humor. However, Tor reserves his strongest sentiments to convey the love which he and Norma shared.

Click here for excerpt from Holmboe interview (MP3)

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