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McLeod, Charles Ernest & Jeanette (Doucette)

by Jeannette (Doucette) McLeod

Charles was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1925. His father was a lighthouse keeper and his mother had been a clerk in a tobacco shop before her marriage. Nine months after his birth, Charles and his mother moved to Alaska where the family lived at Point Retreat until his fatherís death in 1929, when the family moved to Juneau.

His mother married Edward Maki, a miner and fisherman, in 1930, and the family moved to Chichagof Mining camp in 1932, and then back to Juneau relocating at Fish Creek at the north end of Douglas Island. Charles, with his family and the other families living in the area, built their own schoolhouse and attended school there until 1940. At that time, there was no road to this community. Access was by hiking the trail and crossing the bar of Gastineau Channel at mean low tide or by boat around Douglas Island.

Charles was employed as a fisherman by his step-father. In the off season, he was known for his merchandising of fresh clams, fish and kippered salmon. Charles was employed at a young age by the A-J Mine. Later he was employed by CCC to build and maintain the trails and paths in the Juneau-Douglas area, particularly the Thane to Point Bishop area, where they had uncovered several burial grounds. He did towing of log rafts for the logging companies and local sawmills. As there was not a local ice packing company, Charles would tow in small icebergs to the local bars and restaurants for their refrigeration and ice for cold drinks. He also was a construction pile buck and boat hand on the mail boats for J. V. Cole, John Willis and Dave Rieschl. He worked the herring pot at Indian Cove for many years.

In 1949, Charles married Jeannette Doucette. They have two children: Charlene and Charles Jr. both born and raised in Juneau.

Charles commercial fished for salmon and halibut for 15 years. He was hired during off fishing season by the Pilots Assn. to transport pilots to vessels entering the inside waters to ports in all types of weather. He was a relief Captain for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for two years and then a permanent Captain transferring from one vessel to another as needed from 1966, until his retirement 19 years later. He was known for his expert handling of all vessels in all weather. Charles was an avid hunter and fisherman and kept the freezer stocked with wild game and fish. He enjoyed all aspects of the outdoors and especially entertaining his friends with stories of his many adventures.

Charles E. McLeod and Jeannette Doucette McLeod, 1949.

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