Note: Milo Wolding was born May 3, 1901. He moved to the Peninsula in 1957, fishing off Boulder Point in Nikiski. He filed his homestead in 1958 and lived in Nikiski for the rest of his life. He died October 3, 1986.
I moved to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1941, at the age of 42, and went to work for Emard Packing Company, working in the beach gang unloading fish from barges. In September, 1942, I left Alaska and joined the Navy C.B.'s in October of 1942, with whom I served until June of 1945. I returned to Alaska in 1947, again to Anchorage and Emard. In 1948, I began working for Alaska Railroad, checking beer, wine and cigarettes from the freight yards to be sent to distributors throughout Alaska.
In 1948, I visited some friends in the Kenai area, Louie and Mary Nissen. Louie had a trucking service which delivered freight, and I went there to give him a hand. While there, I rode over to Seward with Peter Kalifornsky to pick up stove oil and gas to bring back to Kenai. The roads were extremely narrow and winding.
In 1949, George "Slim" Welch talked me into going commercial fishing with him across the Inlet at Trading Bay. Slim had sites there and we fished the summer, 6 days a week. In the fall of 1949, I returned to work with the Alaska Railroad.
In May of 1957, I quit the railroad and moved to the Peninsula. I bought Earl Daniels' fishing sites at Boulder Point, where I fished with Art Pederson as my partner. I had gotten acquainted with Art while working for the railroad. While fishing at Boulder Point, we used a dory to pick the fish from the nets and to deliver to barges owned by Emard. We fished 3 days a week. During the years we fished at Boulder Point, we bought our year's supply of groceries from Daubenspeck Fisheries. One year, Art went to town to order the year's supply of groceries and to do other errands. In the process of these "other errands," Art forgot that he had already put in the big grocery order, and so put in another order, not realizing that it was the second one. When the groceries arrived by ship, there was a double order for Mile Wolding and Art Pederson. We were literally giving groceries away because we had no place to store them for the winter.
In 1958, I took out a 160-acre homestead on what is now Lamplight Road, where I still live. During that winter, with the help of Dean Rounds, Mac McCarthy and Dan Johnson, I built my 12-by 12-foot spruce lot cabin. It took us less than a month to put it up, partly because the temperature was minus 30 degrees. Some of the other people who homesteaded on Lamplight Road were Art Kivi, Alfred Wik, Paul Costa, John "The Greek" Letris, Tony Toloff, and Speedy Toloff. There was a trail from Eadie's Frontier Club to here, which could only be traveled by jeep. In 1961 and 1962, the gravel road from Kenai was built. Within the next several years, the refineries began to be built. Prior to their arrival, the only residents were the homesteaders, most of whom were fishermen. Some of them also made a living during the winter by trapping. The town of Nikiski consisted of a post office and a grocery, both the same building which was built by Mac McGahan. After the refineries were built and in operation, many more people began moving into the area. In 1964 and 1965, Ken McGahan started building what is now Lamplight Road, and the state eventually finished it.
In 1965, I again went to work for Emard for a time, remodeling after the 1964 earthquake. During the earthquake, I was living in my cabin. I remember the ground shook hard and felt like waves. The cabin squeaked and shook so hard I thought it would fall, but it didn't. There was a large Cat, used to clear the road, which was sitting on blocks. It swayed about 6 feet to each side, but did not fall off the blocks. I don't remember much damage except that the Lamplight Bar had quite a bit of glass breakage.
in about 1964 or '65, Art and I sold the Boulder Point sites to Dave Lamb. I retired in 1966 a the age of 65. Art Pederson moved Outside in 1969-'70. The last I heard from him, he was living in San Jose, California.
- Milo Wolding, 1985
Milo Wolding's 160 Acres, filed in 1958 and patented in 1961.