An oral history collection of interviews with North Shore commercial fishermen (interviews available online). This project produced by Archives and Special Collections, Kathryn A. Martin Library, University of Minnesota Duluth in collaboration with the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum. Collection is described by the Kathryn A. Martin Library as follows:

The North Shore Commercial Fishing Oral History Project, undertaken in 1977, intended to capture first-hand knowledge of commercial fishing. Narrators were individuals who themselves, or whose families, engaged in commercial fishing on Lake Superior’s North Shore from Knife River and Two Harbors in Lake county to Schroeder and Tofte in Cook county as well as Isle Royale, Michigan an island off the north shore of Lake Superior. The interviewer/project director was historian Barbara W. Sommer. 

The interviews in this project document the history of commercial fishing on Lake Superior's North Shore. The ten participants, interviewed by Barbara Sommer, were individuals who themselves, or whose families, engaged in commercial fishing.

Topics of the interviews included fishing industry finance, women in the industry, fishing equipment, boat building, weather's effect on Great Lakes fishing, clothing, health care, the Great Depression, children, and the history of individual fishing businesses.

The collection contains audiorecordings of the interviews, transcripts, and a subject guide to the transcripts. There is also a brief biographical statement for each participant.

These interviews have been digitized and are available, with the transcripts, from Minnesota Reflections. North Shore Commercial Fishing Oral History Project interviews

Participants, Home Locations, and Interview Dates:

  • Aleck Christiansen, Two Harbors, Minnesota, June 22, 1977
  • Ingeborg Holte, Grand Marais, Minnesota, July 6, 1977
  • Edwin C. “Steve” Johnson, Duluth, Minnesota, June 22, 1977
  • Milford Johnson Jr., Two Harbors, Minnesota, July 14, 1977
  • Conrad Lorntson, Two Harbors, Minnesota, June 29, 1977
  • Hjalmer Louis Mattson, Duluth, Minnesota, July 11, 1977
  • Roy Bernard Oberg, Grand Portage, Minnesota, July 30, 1977
  • Ragnvald Sve, Two Harbors, Minnesota, July 15, 1977
  • George Torgersen, Knife River, Minnesota, June 27, 1977
  • Chris Tormondsen, Tofte, Minnesota, July 29, 1977