Al Wise Interview, May 26, 1999


Al Wise


Suzanne M. Vernon



Download Audio Interview (154.5 MB)

Download Transcript of Al Wise Interview (2.8 MB)


Al Wise shares a number of colorful anecdotes about his life from living in Illinois until he was married, then moving to the Swan Valley in Montana in 1932 for employment. He recalls homesteading there with his family and making ends meet by working as a logger, sawmill operator and U.S. Forest Service fire lookout. Wise describes how each of these jobs were performed in the Northwest during the mid-20th century. He discusses helping to establish a church in the Swan Valley and his involvement within the homesteading community. Wise also talks about navigating the Swan Valley terrain before roads and other transportation networks were established.

Document Type

Oral History


Swan Valley, Montana; Homesteading, Montana; Logging, Montana; Sawmills, Montana; U.S. Forest Service; Forest fires; Fire lookout; Churches, Montana; Roads; Transportation

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Upper Swan Valley Oral History Project, OH 422, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 422-022, 023

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (16 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

02:03:48 minutes

Local Filename

OH_422_022_023.mp3; OH_422_022_023.pdf

Al Wise Interview, May 26, 1999