Charlotte Enoksen

Charlotte Enoksen Image
Location of Interview
Collection Name

The Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project


The Working Waterfront Festival Community  Documentation Project is an ongoing oral history project documenting the history and culture of the commercial fishing industry and other port trades. The project was begun in 2004 in conjunction with the Working Waterfront Festival, an annual, education celebration of commercial fishing culture which takes place in New Bedford, MA. Interviewees have included a wide range of individuals connected to the commercial fishing industry and/or other aspects of the port through work or familial ties. While the majority of interviewees are from the port of New Bedford, the project has also documented numerous individuals  from other ports around the country. Folklorist and    Festival Director Laura Orleans and Community Scholar/Associate Director Kirsten Bendiksen are Project Leaders. The original recordings reside at the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Maryland with listening copies housed at the Festival's New Bedford office.

Date of Interview

Laura Orleans

Biographical Sketch

Born in 1949, Charlotte Enoksen grew up in a tight-knit immigrant community, where many families were involved in the fishing industry. Her father, a Norwegian immigrant, became a fisherman and transitioned from groundfishing to scalloping over the years. 

Scope and Content Note
The interview with Charlotte Enoksen provides a rich oral history of her experiences and perspectives on the fishing community in New Bedford. The interview touches on various aspects of her life, from her childhood in a fishing family to her own marriage to a fisherman. She discusses the challenges and sacrifices that come with being part of a fishing family, the sense of community among fishing families, and the complexities of balancing family life with the demands of the industry. Charlotte also reflects on the changes she has witnessed in the fishing community over time, including shifts in values, the impact of corporate interests, and concerns about the future of the industry. Charlotte’s passion for her heritage and the fishing community is evident in her poetry, which she shares during the interview. Her poems capture the connection she feels to the waterfront, the challenges faced by fishing families, and her love for the city of New Bedford.

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