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Thread: Andy Simons

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    Default Andy Simons

    I would like to know as much as possible about my grandmother's uncle, Andy Simons, so I think I've found the right place to ask :-) Andy is actually quite unknown in his old hometown in Finland, but I've realized that he's a legend in Alaska. I would like to visit Alaska some day, but before that, it would be nice to know more about him.

    Do you know any historians or writers who know much about Andy and his life? Could you recommend some books? Do you know any interesting stories about him? As I wrote, it would be nice to know as much as possible, so I hope you could help me, please.

    Thanks,
    Irina (I'm 34, born in Finland and now I live in Sweden)

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Here is a Thread on him here.
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...r-at-this-time......
    His name comes up often in old hunting books of Alaska.His Guide number is #1 and hopefully Joe Want guide #6 can help you
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Andy Simmons Mountain is to the N of the Primrose parking area at the S.E. end of Kenai Lake.

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    Another member, Tustumena, seems to know a lot about your great uncle and other guides of this region and that era. I'm sure he will post on this thread.

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    Why does his namesake mountain have the extra 'M' in SimMons? Is there a background story there or was it simply a spelling error on the part of somebody involved with naming the mountain, perhaps a Forest Service employee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by iturner8 View Post
    Why does his namesake mountain have the extra 'M' in SimMons? Is there a background story there or was it simply a spelling error on the part of somebody involved with naming the mountain, perhaps a Forest Service employee?
    It doesn't. Spelling error by tony.

    Here's what it looks like by the way; in case you were interested.



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    Andy Simon guided all over the Kenai mountains for sheep and west of Skilak Lake for moose. His outside hunters would arrive in Seward and ride the rail to Moose Pass. I believe he had a cabin on the south side of Kenai Lake. From there they would boat across Kenai Lake and down the Kenai river to Skilak Lake. A lot of sheep hunts took place over in the Killey glacier area. They would travel from Skilak Lake up cottonwood creek trail to high country then make their way over to the glacier.
    Moose hunts took place in the flats west of Skilak. Andy marked a lot of the trails that are between Skilak and Tustamena lake. A lot of his trails are long gone now. Moose had to be packed all the way back to Skilak lake. There were some tough men back then. Hunts in those days with clients from outside were fairly long expeditions, not the 10 day/two week hunt that occurs today.

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    I thought Berg was guide #1?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Berg was #1 guide,Andy was Master Guide 001 and Joe W Master guide 006. Its fare to say a Andy held both Alaska #1 titles
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Andy Simons was the guide in all or at least part of these books:

    Sheep and Bear Trails by John Holman, 1933
    Hunting on Kenai Peninsula by John Eddy, 1925
    Hunting the Alaska Brown Bear by John Eddy, 1930
    Cow Range and Hunting Trail by Malcolm Mackay, 1925
    To Far Western Alaska For Big Game by T.R. Hubback, 1929

    Check your library and see if any of these copies are available.

    He is also the guide in a privately printed book called Hunting on the Kenai Peninsula by Morris Parris, 1913 but they only printed 4 copies so its impossible to obtain a first edition. You can purchase a photocopy of the book from Yale University Beinecke Rare Book room, but they have to make one by hand for you.

    Andy Simons had an excellent reputation as a big game guide originating out of Seward. He would boat across Kenai Lake and float the river down to Skilak where he would take his hunters up to the Benjamin Creek vicinity.

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    I have a film with Andy Simons in it called Kenai Big Game that was professionally taken in the thirties, if you send me your address "when I get time" I will make a copy on a disk and send it to you. The film was taken between Skilak and Tustumena Lakes near Twin Lakes.

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    I was rooting around in the pile of stuff and I wanted you to have a
    andysimons.jpg



    photo of young Andy. This is from an old magazine called Outdoor Life, July 1917.


    Also I am including a photo that Andy took himself of Kenai moose where he guided.

    andysimons1.jpg

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    Once floating to Skilak, how did they get back to Seward? Did they end the hunt by floating out to Kenai?

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    They towed the boats by rope back up the Kenai River and then rowed back across Kenai Lake...in this 1915 book with Seward guides Charles Emsweiler and Ben Sweasey it says it took them five days to get to Cooper Landing from the camp on Skilak Lake.

    towing.jpg

    Going up the Kasilof river they would follow the tide in and then tow the boats up to Tustumena in two or three days. Then row or set up a small sail to cross the lake.

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    towing 001.jpg

    Heres a description of towing up the Kasilof...on the third night they camped on Caribou Island.

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    oops...double post deleted.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    They towed the boats by rope back up the Kenai River and then rowed back across Kenai Lake...in this 1915 book with Seward guides Charles Emsweiler and Ben Sweasey it says it took them five days to get to Cooper Landing from the camp on Skilak Lake.

    towing.jpg

    Going up the Kasilof river they would follow the tide in and then tow the boats up to Tustumena in two or three days. Then row or set up a small sail to cross the lake.
    Fascinating picture. There seems to be a trail on the other side of the river and the amount of dead timber is also noteworthy.

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    Member tustumena_lake's Avatar
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    Towing boats up the Kenai with a rope seems incredible today but back then they didn't seem to think anything of it. Another thing I've noticed it was common to hire a guide for a month or two just because of logistics.

    1912...

    towing4.jpg

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    i apologize if i'm being boring but here's one more...this is a photo of towing a boat with a rope and a 3 hole bidarki up the Kasilof River in 1898. Andrew Berg was the guide for the hunting trip. If you click on it you just barely see the native packers and the rope on the bank.

    towing5.jpg

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    What's the title of the referenced book? I have a good collection of the old Alaska hunting books and have looked for books and articles mentioning Charlie/Charles Emswuiler without much luck...Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by tustumena_lake View Post
    They towed the boats by rope back up the Kenai River and then rowed back across Kenai Lake...in this 1915 book with Seward guides Charles Emsweiler and Ben Sweasey it says it took them five days to get to Cooper Landing from the camp on Skilak Lake.

    towing.jpg

    Going up the Kasilof river they would follow the tide in and then tow the boats up to Tustumena in two or three days. Then row or set up a small sail to cross the lake.

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