Before the Kilcher family came into the limelight, homesteading seemed like an unrealistic way of life in contemporary society. That has changed in recent years, thanks to Discovery Channel’s reality TV series Alaska: The Last Frontier. Otto Kilcher and his extended family have proved it isn’t impossible to live without the privilege of modern facilities.
Americans and fans of the show across the world have been entertained. At the same time, they have learned self-sufficiency since the show’s debut in 2011. Particularly, we have all learned a thing or two from the homestead’s ultimate handyman, Otto Kilcher, who has a knack for turning junk into something useful.
Otto and his siblings are chips off the old block, and their offspring and partners didn’t stray far from the trees either. Here are some lesser-known details about the dividends of the handyman’s lifestyle, including his shows and his net worth.
Homer Has Always Been Home to Otto Kilcher
The reality TV personality was born on April 19, 1952, in Homer, Alaska, USA. He was born into the family of Yule Kilcher (father) and Ruth Kilcher (mother). Of Swiss descent, his parents escaped from Switzerland to the state of Alaska during World War II.
The family settled there, occupying acres of land in the Homer area. Right from childhood, Otto Kilcher has been a handyperson. He taught himself to do a lot of things, including fixing and building equipment on the homestead at a period when civilization was even farther away from the property.
Growing up in Alaska with his seven siblings, he indulged in experimenting with mechanical tools to proffer solutions to many problems around the house. For Otto Kilcher, junk became treasure with which he can build whatever he needs.
With not much more than his own experience and a keen interest in mechanics, he proceeded to a trade school in Utah during his early 20s to learn more about machining. Following his graduation, he did more with his skillset than repairing the farm gears whenever the need came up.
Upon his return to his lifelong home, the machinist started a brand out of his passion and named it Otto Machine. He has also provided for his family by taking care of the family’s herd of cattle for many years. Otto has also groomed his children to cultivate the habit of constructing their supplies out of available material.
How Otto Kilcher’s Family’s Unique ways Brought Him Fame
When the founding father of the Kilcher homestead thought the cold land of Alaska a good enough place to settle in 1936, he probably did not imagine his descendants would one day find themselves in the spotlight. After a lifetime of living without commonly acceptable basic amenities, like electricity, the emergence of the reality show Alaska: The Last Frontier changed everything for the Kilchers.
The Discovery Channel’s program has spawned nine seasons with the first episode released in December 2011. Otto and his family became famous when they debuted on the show, detailing their experiences on the farm.
The show portrays the family’s daily activities, and how, four generations down the line, they manage to thrive without the privilege of modern facilities amid the harsh weather condition.
Together with his elder brother Atz (the patriarch of the Kilcher family) and other members of the family, Otto Kilcher has become very famous, thanks to the reality show. The show has also garnered a massive fanbase made up of viewers who are fascinated by the Kilchers’ survival techniques in a place many dread to enter.
His Conversion of Screen Time and Hard work to Wealth
Combined with the satisfaction of living off his hand works, Otto Kilcher has also made bank off his exposure. The bulk of the handyman’s screen time has been on Alaska: The Last Frontier. He has appeared in over 100 episodes in the show’s nine seasons. He earns a significant portion of his net worth from his role as himself on the Discovery Channel Series.
The year after TLF took off, Otto and his family appeared in Rousseau’s Children, a TV documentary centered on a reality check in Alaska’s wilderness. He is also part of the cast of Homestead Beginnings, a less popular TV program starring the Kilchers.
Between his machine business, land holdings, and the show he has been a part of for the better part of a decade, Otto Kilcher has so far amassed a wealth of over $4 million. The exact amount the Kilchers make per episode isn’t public knowledge, but it is estimated to be between $7000-10,000.
Otto Kilcher has Been Married Thrice
Otto Kilcher is currently married to his third wife. His first marriage was with Olga Von Ziegesar. Their relationship got sour with time and ended in a divorce with no children. The second time, he tied the nuptial knot with Sharon Mckemie. Their union produced two children – Levi Kilcher and Eivin Kilcher before the eventual crash of their marriage in 1987.
His current foray into the matrimony is with wildlife biologist Charlotte Irene Adamson. Their love for nature brought them together in 1989 when Otto joined a humanitarian fleet cleaning up the Exxon Valdez toxic oil spill in the Kachemak Bay. Charlotte was head of Homer’s bird rescue operation at the time.
The couple got married in 1994. Their marriage led Charlotte, a vegetarian, to settle into life on their farm, raising and hunting animals for food. Otto and Charlotte have a son named August as well as a stepson, Torrey, from her previous relationship. She contributes to the joint homestead life by gardening, keeping bees, cow milking, as well as raising poultry for eggs.
Dissecting the Kilcher Family Line
After Yule and Ruth Kilcher established their roots in the homestead, the couple had eight children, the sixth of which is Otto. The extended family tree has gotten a little more complicated generations later. However, many of them are familiar faces on the show.
The first son of the family, Atz Kilcher, is currently married to Bonnie Dupree. He does, however, share three children Shane, Atz Lee, and the popular singer, Jewel Kilcher, with his first wife, Lenedra Carroll. He is a grandfather via Jewel’s son, Kase Townes Murray.
Though Otto and his brother get more time in the limelight, their six sisters, Wurtilla Hepp, Catkin Kilcher Burton, Fay Graham, Mossy Kilcher, Stellavera Kilcher, and Sunrise Sjoeberg, also share their homestead upbringing and self-reliant values.
Otto, the second and last son, is also a grandfather to Findlay Farenorth Kilcher via his son Eivin, and his wife Eve. The reality show star alongside his brother and the rest of the Kilcher dynasty currently live on their 640-acre property in Homer, Alaska with his third wife Charlotte, their children, and their respective families.