West Side Stories


Map of Kodiak Island Archipelago
Map of Kodiak Island Archipelago

This summer, the Kodiak Historical Society and the Baranov Museum in Kodiak are working on a project they call, “West Side Stories.” It is an effort to preserve the history of the west side of Kodiak Island from Kupreanof to Karluk, and to achieve this goal, the museum is mailing out a series of kits throughout the summer to encourage fishermen, lodge owners and residents on the west side of the island to share stories, drawings, and other artwork with the museum, where it will be displayed in the spring of 2016.

I am excited about this project and plan to participate. Not only will this help preserve the history of this sparsely-populated side of Kodiak, but it should get children involved in learning more about where they spend at least a part of their lives each year. I have plenty of stories to send to the museum. My husband’s parents, Park and Pat Munsey, moved to this side of Kodiak Island in 1958. They raised six kids, ran a hunting lodge, and operated their own air-charter taxi. They have some amazing tales, and I plan to retell a few. I of course have stories of my own after living here for 31 years, and my good friend and a former cook at our lodge, Marcia Messier, is also planning to contribute some stories.

This project is just the incentive Marcia and I need to start writing our cookbook/storybook Tales from the Kitchen at Munsey’s Bear Camp (working title), which will include all the stories we’ll write for the “West Side” project plus more. We plan to write this book with my mother-in-law Pat Munsey and hopefully one other contributor.

For the next several weeks, I will post Pat’s, Marcia’s, and my own stories, and I will then send them to the museum for their “West Side” collection. I will also continue to include posts about wildlife on this site, and since our summer photography/fishing trips have started, I’ll let you know what’s happening with those as well. Please leave a comment if there is anything you’d like me to cover, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Also, if you leave a comment with your e-mail address, my posts will be delivered directly to your mail box.

If you would like to learn more about “West Side Stories,” visit their Facebook page: Kodiak’s West Side Stories, and if you would like to donate to the project, go to: http://www.crowdrise.com/westsidestories

2 thoughts on “West Side Stories

  1. Robin,

    I am absolutely thrilled that this bit of history about the West Side of Kodiak Island will be recorded.

    And, our long discussed book is conceived!



  2. Robin!
    I am in the throes of post-vacation blues, and still occasionally stewing that although we recently made it twice to Kodiak, we were not actually able to land there. We were so looking forward to meeting you and Mike, and now have our sights set on doing so next summer. In the meantime, I have discovered and am enjoying your blog. I already feel much smarter about puffins and Arctic terns and bears and such, but I am especially excited to read the “West Side Stories” you hint at here. I love a good story.

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