Brower had left San Francisco with the intention of making a short dash
north on a whaling ship bound for the mythic Arctic Circle.
Adventure had a way of following Charlie Brower.
His initial landing
turned into a fifty-year long ice-bound lifestyle. Once he stepped off the
whaler and back onto dry, albeit frozen land, Brower took a job as master
of the whaling station. But, though commerce brought him north, it was the
people that helped keep him there for Charlie soon became fast friends
with the native Inuit people. They taught him how to hunt seals on the
ice, caribou on the tundra, and whales out on the sea. He learned their
secrets, lived in their igloos, navigated in their kayaks and avoided
being murdered in their feuds. Plus the young adventurer observed the
great dramas of the Far North play out. He saw the last of the sailing
ships disappear over the horizon, and watched the first airplane fly in.
fifty-seven years, through ice storms and northern lights, Charlie Brower
maintained both this lonely outpost and his claim as “Uncle Sam’s most
northerly citizen.” A book to remember, “Fifty Years Below Zero” is
illustrated with photos by the author.