Guide to the Ann and Robert Mounteer papers
An Alaska Historical Society collection
Collection number: HMC-1019-AHS.
Title: Ann and Robert Mounteer papers.
Volume of collection: 0.8 cubic feet and 5.9 GB.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers, photographs, and film of Alaskan homesteaders and writers.
Ann and Robert Mounteer were married in 1947. They both graduated with bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1949; Ann in geography and Robert in forestry. Soon after graduating, the Mounteers traveled to Alaska. They built a house on a homestead on Fire Lake and a small cabin on a homestead on the bluffs above Homer. While in Alaska, Robert Mounteer worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as a member of a crew which conducted soil analyses in the Glennallen area and a forestry survey in the Haines area. He also worked in various Forestry and Land Planning divisions of BLM. While in Alaska, the Mounteers took photographs, slides, and motion picture films. The Mounteers left Alaska in 1953.
The collection consists of papers relating to Ann and Robert Mounteer’s activities in Alaska including travels, homesteading in southcentral, and canoe trips in the Haines, Kachemak Bay, Lake Louise, Tyone River, and Tazlina Lake areas. The papers consist of Alaska trip journals, magazine articles by Robert Mounteer on canoe and fishing trips, correspondence, and a floor plan of the Mounteers’ Fire Lake house. The collection also contains slides, photographs, negatives, color transparencies, post cards, and motion picture film. The post cards are of early Knik; prospecting in the Broad Pass District; Nome; and the Matanuska Valley. Subjects of the photographs and film include Anchorage, the Matanuska Valley, Fairbanks and the Tanana Valley, the Kenai Peninsula, the Glenn and Richardson Highways, various canoe trips, fellow homesteaders, and farms in Alaska.
Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the following series:
Alternative formats: The collection includes contact prints and copy negatives made from select photographs in the collection.
Digitized copies: Selected photographs have been digitized and are available on Alaska’s Digital Archives. Digital access copies of some of the moving image footage is available onsite at Archives and Special Collections.
Rights note: Archives does not hold copyright to materials in this collection.
Preferred citation: Ann and Robert Mounteer papers, Alaska Historical Society collections, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Separated materials: Two editions of The Milepost: Guide to the land of the northern lights (1952 and 1953 editions) and Ann Mounteer’s account of Alaskan travels, What Happened Today?, were removed from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books.
Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Alaska Historical Society in 1995 by Ann and Robert Mounteer. The Historical Society retains ownership of the collection and placed it on deposit in Archives and Special Collections in 1995.
Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 1996. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard and series combined by Veronica Denison in 2015.
|1/1||Trip to Alaska journal: Dearborn, MI to the Kenai Peninsula, AK||1949|
|1/2||Return trip from Alaska journal: Anchorage, AK to Corvallis, OR||1952 August-September|
|1/3||Trip to Alaska journal: Corvallis, OR to Fire Lake, AK||1953 June 14-24|
|1/4||Alaskan canoe trips: Lake Louise, Kachemak Bay, Tazlina Lake||1952, 1953|
|1/5||Magazine clipping photo of S-loop at Mile 48 on the Alaska Railroad in winter; U.S. Weather Bureau, Anchorage, Alaska, letter concerning mother of pearl clouds; News clipping photo of icicle inside highway tunnel near Thompson Pass; Letter from Loussac Library and typed script of Anchorage Daily Times newspaper articles; The Mounteer’s Alaska House, floor plan of cabin on Fire Lake||1949-1951, 1965-1966|
|1/6||“ Trout, Grayling,…and More Trout” by Robert Mounteer, Fur-Fish-Game; “ On a Green Banana” by Robert W. Mounteer, The Alaska Sportsman; “Maybe Wives Aren’t Fishermen–But…” by Robert Mounteer (submitted under name Robert Mann), Western Sportsman; “Dangerous Fun” by Robert Mounteer, The Alaska Sportsman||1954-1955|
|1/7||Handwritten notes related to slides, photographs, and motion picture film||undated|
|1/8||1-18||Alaska-Fresh Crab Plant, Homer Spit: Plant and restaurant on pilings from dock; Crab boat and crab pots; Crab pots in front of plant; Robert Mounteer taking crabs out of live box; Bill Ritter hoisting basket of crabs from cooking vat; Evelyn Haltinen loading crab into cooking vat; Bill Ritter holding 18 pound King Crab; Alaska King Crabs; Cooked prawns; King Crab feast: leg meat on plate||1952 August|
|1/8||19-20||Elden Canaday Farm, south of Fairbanks; Digging potatoes by hand||1953 August|
|1/8||21-34||Charles A. Creamer Dairy, Fairbanks: Loading silage into silo; Harvester; Sandhill cranes; Dairy cattle; Wagon; White Pass & Yukon Railroad sled; 1908 Chalmer’s automobile; Tractor||1953 August|
|1/8||35-45||Jim Faulk Farm, Homer: Haystacks; Geese; Jim Faulk cultivating field with plow pulled by son driving tractor; Chicken nested in haystack||1952|
|1/8||46-56||McGees building log house, Moose River||undated|
|1/8||57-68||Middleton Farm, Fritz Creek Road, Homer: Henry and Timothy turning over soil with tractor and removing roots; Chicken enclosure made from tree boughs; Making ice cream with hand freezer in front of cabin; Henry splitting firewood||1952|
|1/8||69-73||Frank and Marjorie Mullen Farm, Soldotna: Marjorie clearing field for planting; Car and utility trailer beside cabin; Frank in wheelchair pulling and crating cabbage||1953|
|1/8||74-78||Ernest Peck House and Woodpile, Wasilla Lake: Ernest spitting wood; Greenhouse on side of house; Mrs. Peck beside sweet pea blossoms near house||undated|
|1/8||79-93||Harold Pomeroy Farm and Sawmill, southern shore of Kachemak Bay: Sawmill; Greenhouse; Irrigated field||1952|
|1/8||94-100||J.R. Robinson Dairy, Kenai Burn: Cabin; Tractor and farm equipment; Dairy cows and pastureland||undated|
|1/8||101-105||Max Sherrod Farm, Matanuska Valley: Cabbage plants and other truck crops; Sherrod Gardens Quonset hut||undated|
|1/8||106-112||Tex Smith Homestead, Glenn Highway: Totem pole yard; Trappers Den Bar||undated|
|1/8||113-118||Old Homesteads: Cabin near Haines; Old abandoned cabins||undated|
|1/8||119-131||Anchorage: 4th Avenue; Small planes on Lake Hood; Sled-dog race at Fur Rendezvous; Spenard; Anchorage International Airport; Anchorage from airplane||1949-1952|
|1/8||132-138||Fairbanks: Street scene, First National Bank; Chena river and downtown buildings; River boats along banks of Chena River; Northern Commercial Co. building from across Chena River; Hydraulic mining east of Fairbanks||1953 August|
|1/8||139-148||Homer: Street scenes; Rural roads; Farm fields; Homer Spit||1952|
|1/8||149-155||Kenai: Elementary school, playground, and school bus; Russian Orthodox Church||1952|
|1/8||156-160||Knik Village: Buildings overlooking Cook Inlet; Railroad next to Cook Inlet||1952|
|1/8||161-167||Ninilchik: Village in winter and summer from above; Looking across bridge toward village; Looking at village toward Russian Orthodox Church from below||1952|
|1/8||168-177||Nome: Street scenes; Oomiaks; Beach||1951 July 4|
|1/8||178-181||Palmer: Knick River Bridge; Farmers market; Sate Fair, Quonset hut exhibit buildings||undated|
|1/8||182-184||Seward: Port facilities; View of Seward from shoreline||undated|
|1/8||185-189||Unalakleet: Alaska Airlines airplanes; Vegetable gardens; Salmon drying on racks||1951 July 4|
|1/8||190-191||Valdez: Fishing boats at docks; Valdez and mountains from harbor||1952 May|
|1/8||192||Whitehorse, Y.T.; Looking down Main Street||undated|
|1/8||193-207||Mounteer Log House on Fire Lake||undated, 1949-1953|
|1/8||208-212||Mounteer Cabin on Homer Bluff||undated|
|1/8||213-217||Green Banana Trip: Haines, Alaska; Chilkoot River; Lynn Canal; River boat||1949|
|1/8||218-235||Kachemak Bay Canoe Trip: Halibut Cove; Grewingk Glacier||1953 July|
|1/8||236-264||Tazlina Lake Canoe Trip: Mendeltna Creek; Tazlina Lake; Tazlina Glacier; Fly fishing for grayling; Tazlina River; Tolsana Creek; Blackie Zambicki||1953 August-September|
|1/8||265-275||Around Alaska: Eklutna River tributary: ice falls; Kenai Lake from Forestry Ranger Station; Kenai River: Robert Mounteer fishing near timber cruising campsite; Lake Louise: lake trout landed by hook and line had a 12 inch whitefish in mouth; Ski Bowl: looking toward Cook Inlet; Skilak Lake; Summit Creek near Richardson Highway: Salmon in creek; Susitna Creek: Don and Marge DeHart and Ann Mounteer on successful fishing trip; Wrangell Mountains; Caribou hunting camp||undated|
|1/9||1-8||Alaska-Fresh Crab Plant, Homer Spit: Robert Mounteer taking crabs out of live box; Robert Mounteer and Evelyn Haltinen removing cooking basket from vat; Crab traps in front of plant building; King Crab; Processing plant and restaurant on pilings looking down beach from dock; Tanner Crab; Crabs in live box||1952 August|
|1/9||9-13||Alaska-Fresh Crab Plant: Bill Ritter putting crabs into cooking vat, holding 18 pound King Crab, hoisting basket of crabs from cooking vat, holding a crab in each hand, cleaning King Crab at table in plant||1952 August|
|1/9||14-15||Small King Crab, 8 pounds; Processing plant and restaurant on pilings from dock||1952 August|
|1/9||16||Elden Canaday with potatoes||1953 August|
|1/9||17||Charles A. Creamer in his 1908 Chalmers car at his dairy near Fairbanks||1953 August|
|1/9||18||Henry Middleton splitting firewood, Fritz Creek Road, Homer||1952|
|1/9||19||Henry Middleton on tractor turning over soil in field with brother Timothy following||1952|
|1/9||20||Roxalana Skobelska tends to tomato and bean plants in greenhouse on Pomeroy Farm, Kachemak Bay||1952|
|1/9||21||Harold Pomeroy and Roxalana Skobelska operating sawmill||1952|
|1/9||22||Tex Smith Homestead: Totem pole yard||undated|
|1/9||23||Tex Smith Homestead: Trappers Den Bar||undated|
|1/9||24||Docks and beach on Homer Spit||1952|
|1/9||25||Farmers Market in Palmer||undated|
|1/9||26||Grewingk Glacier, Kachemak Bay||undated|
|1/9||27||Anchorage from above||undated|
|1/9||28||New Anchorage International Airport||1952|
|1/9||29-30||Federal Jail, Anchorage: Front and rear views||1949|
|1/9||31||4th Avenue, Anchorage, looking east||1949|
|1/9||32||5th Avenue, Anchorage, looking east||1949|
|1/9||33||Fishing boats in Valdez harbor||1949|
|1/9||34||The Mounteers’ truck with camper and canoe: ready for trip to Alaska||1949 May|
|1/9||35||Lake Louise, Tyone River Trip: Unloading the boat after a successful day of fishing. We kept these two small lake trout for dinner. Ann Mounteer is holding the fish, Marge DeHart has the fishing rods, and Don DeHart is picking up the grub box. Lake Louse||1953|
|1/9||36||Lake Louise, Tyone River Trip: Starting on our trip down the Tyone River – minus one photographer. the lightweight, folding boat being tied to the other by Ann was used for side trips for carrying duffle on the long runs. Ann Mounteer, Marge and Don DeHart||1953|
|1/9||37||Lake Louise, Tyone River Trip: Fly-fishing for Arctic grayling. Dozens of fish were rising just offshore in the swift current of lower Tyone River but only a few were caught. Bob Mounteer||1953|
|1/9||38||Lake Louise, Tyone River Trip: Indian residence, Tyone River||1953|
|1/9||39||Bob Mounteer angling for grayling in the “fish bowl,” south side of Tazlina Lake||1953 August|
|1/10||1-6||Alaska Fresh Crab Plant, Homer Spit (Ektachrome transparencies): Bill Ritter cleaning King Crab at table in plant, putting crabs in cooking vat, hoisting basket of crabs out of cooking vat, holding crabs in each hand, and plate of King Crab meat||1952 August|
|1/10||7-9||Matanuska Valley Experimental Station (Ektachrome transparencies): Forage plots and chicken house; Man in grain field; Looking toward grain field from hill||undated|
|1/10||10-11||Winnie Marten picking raspberries on her Matanuska Valley farm||undated|
|1/11||1-22||Photo post cards: July 4, 1914, Knik, Alaska (celebration), O.G.H.; Dock, K.T. Co., Knik, Alaska (people and fishing boat at dock), O.G.H.; Water Front, Knik, Alaska (two-masted sailing ship in port), O.G.H.; Waiting For the Tide, Knik Arm, Alaska (four fishing boats at dock), O.G.H.; 3 A.M. June 23, 1901, Knik Arm, Alaska (sunrise from ship), O.G.H.; The End of Cooks K.E. Passage, Knik, Alaska (harbor with double exposure of masts of two sailing ships), O.G.H.; Arrival Govt. Surveyors, Knik, Alaska, O.G.H.; Second Lake, Knik Arm, Alaska (horses pulling freight on sled across lake), O.G.H.; The “Boer,” Knik Beach, Alaska (bore tide), O.G.H.; Oat Hay, Knik, Alaska (man and haystacks), O.G.H.; Ladies Ball Game at Knik Park 1915; O.G.H.; Seldovia Harbor, Alaska. 1904, O.G.H; S.S. Bertha and Flagship Perry at Tyonic, Alaska, O.G.H.; Prospectors On Susitna River. Near Broad Pass Dist. Alaska, F.M.K-H.; Ore Croppings, Broad Pass, Alaska (three men at ore seam) F.M.K-H.; Wells Bros. Tunnel on Golden Zone Ledge. Broad Pass Dist. Alaska (four men and dog at mine entrance). F.M.K-H.; Nome, Alaska (aerial from Norton Sound); Photo by Frank Morgan, Brickley T-48; Matanuska Valley, Alaska; Robinson, R-819; Fairbanks, Alaska (aerial above Chena River); Johnston, P-1256; Aerial of unknown town or village||undated|
|1/12||Alaska-Fresh Crab Plant, Homer Spit; Elden Canaday Farm; Charles A. Creamer Dairy Farm; Jim Faulk Farm, Homer; Middleton Farm, Fritz Creek Road, Homer: Chopping firewood, making ice cream, children; Marjorie and Frank Mullen Farm, Soldotna; Harold Pomeroy Farm and Sawmill, Kachemak Bay; Max Sherrod Farm, Matanuska Valley; Tex Smith Homestead, Glenn Highway; Blackie Zambicki Homestead, Glenn Highway and Tolsona Creek; Anchorage; Anchorage International Airport; Fairbanks: Downtown from across slough, Farmers Loop Road, River boats along bank of Chena River, street scenes, row of sweet peas, field of summer squash, Engine No. 1, Alaska Railroad, gold dredge at mining site, hydraulic hose; Fairbanks Agricultural Experiment Station and University of Alaska; Homer: Heady Hotel, Lower Main Street, beach and docks, school; Knik Village; Matanuska Valley Experiment Station; Palmer: Main Street, Matanuska Hotel, Kosloski’s Department Store, Farmers Market, Matanuska Valley Farmers Coop dairy building, loading dock, Trading Post, Matanuska Valley Farmers Coop Association, Palmer Cafe Fountain, Palmer School, baseball game in progress; Richardson Highway: Sportsman’s Lodge, Paxson Lake, car campers, Paxson Lake, Summit Lake, Old sod-roofed cabin; Susitna Lake; Tyone Village, Tyone River; Valdez; Wasilla: Main Street||undated, 1952-1953|
|Box 2||1||1||Homesteading Movie (silent, 39 minutes): Section 1. Established Homesteads: Creamer’s Dairy in Fairbanks, Earnest Peck home on Wasilla Lake, Mounteer house in Fire Lake; Section 2. New Homesteads: Middleton Farm in Homer, Pomeroy Farm and Sawmill on Kachemak Bay, Mullen Farm in Soldotna Junction; Seasonal foods: berries, salmon, caribou, moose; Section 3. Progress: Ninilchik: boy carrying pails of water on shoulder yoke; Snowshoe Lake: chopping hole for water, catching ling cod; Moose River: McGee’s building log house; Snowshoe Lake: Ann Mounteer and Marge DeHart doing wash outside DeHart cabin; Anchorage: tractor clearing dirt for road; Robinson Farm, Kenai burn: farm machinery; Grigg’s Farm, Fairbanks: flower garden; Mullen Farm, Soldotna Junction: feeding chickens, pulling rutabagas; Section 4. Abandoned Homesteads: Matanuska Valley, Richardson Highway, Homer; Section 5. Why do they quit?: Naptowne log school; Pioneer Peak: snowslide; Tractor clearing roads at spring thaw. Digital access copy available.|
|Box 2||2||2||Homesteading Movie (silent, 44 minutes): Homer, Tanana, Valley, Anchorage, Matanuska Valley Experiment Station, Fairbank Agriculture Experiment Station, Matanuska Valley Fair, Winter Charm: snowshoeing.|
|Box 2||3||3||Canoe Trails (silent, 31 minutes): Kachemak Bay Trip: Alaska-Fresh Crab Plant; Homer Spit; Fox River Valley; Bear Cove; Pomeroy farm and sawmill; Halibut Cove, Grewingk Glacier. Digital access copy available.|
|Box 2||4||4||Canoe Trails (silent, 45 minutes): Lake Louise-Tyone River Trip: Snowshoe Lake; Lake Louise, Tyone Lake, Tyone Village, Tyone River, fishing for grayling; Tazlina Lake Trip: Mendeltna Creek, Tazlina Lake, Tazlina Glacier, Nelchina River flats, Tazlina River: rapids, river gorge, Tolsana Creek, Blackie Zambicki homestead; Kenai Peninsula: Kenai River, Skilak Lake, Moose River|
|Box 2||5||5||Homestead Movie: Extra Scenes (silent, 10 minutes): Old homestead, McGees constructing log house, Moose River, Tomato plants, corn in field, Grace Baptist Church in Homer, Children entering school buses, dairy cattle, man chopping hole in ice on Snowshoe Lake, Magpie with leg in trap, Mr. Creamer in his 1908 Chalmers car, unloading silage from Creamer’s dairy truck, Spenard Heights sign, Homestead Acres sign, model home, Anchorage, Anchorage International Airport from distance, Tex Smith Homestead: Trappers Den Bar and totem pole yard, Glenn Highway; Jim Faulk Farm, Homer: haystacks, geese; Matanuska Valley Experiment Station: grain field, barn, Ann Mounteer with sunflowers; Ninilchik: pan of village from above. Digital access copy available.|
|Box 2||6||5||Canoe Trails: Extra Scenes (silent, 4 minutes): Kachemak Bay Trip: Homer Spit: docks; Ann and Robert Mounteer against sky looking into distance; Kachemak Bay from hillside; Tazlina Lake Trip: Blackie Zambicki’s homestead, Tolsona Creek; Tazlina River Canyon, Ann and Robert Mounteer packing sleeping gear on lawn, Ann Mounteer with camera, Tazlina Lake. Digital access copy available.|
|Box 2||7||5||Flowers, Salmon, Wild Berries, Animals (silent, 5 minutes): Homer Spit: Ann Mounteer with crab on beach, Kachemak Bay and fireweed from hillside, sled dog near creek, hydraulic mining near Fairbanks, gold dredge and tailings, Matanuska Valley farm, landscape and mountains in winter, sled-dog teams going past, animal tracks in snow, moose feeding in alder, berry bush, Ann Mounteer on snowshoes, Elden Canaday digging potatoes out by hand on his farm, Ann Mounteer in flower garden, two pints of raspberries, gray goose. Digital access copy available.|
|Box 2||8||5||Homesteading Movie: Additional Shots (silent, 10 minutes):
Palmer: Sherrod Gardens farm: harvesting lettuce, boxing cabbage; Robert Mounteer digging potatoes, train station, farmers market; Matanuska Valley Farmers Coop: Trading Post, dairy loading dock, street scenes, children with horses
Sheep in pasture; Pomeroy Farm, Kachemak Bay: tomatoes in greenhouse; Jim Faulk Farm, Homer: haystacks, chicken in haystack, geese, and Mr. Faulk cultivating potato field with plow pulled by son driving small tractor. Digital access copy available.
|Box 2||1-8||6-10||Window dubs of film reels|
|Box 2||1-8||1-5||Mini DV video cassette masters of tapes|