Charlie Tanner was born in 1904 in Stonehurst, Nova Scotia. After working as a professional fisherman for a few years, he moved to Eagle's Head in 1929, and established his own fishing business. Upon retirement in 1973 he started carving on a full time basis. He had always spent his spare time whittling, but now he started selling his carvings to visitors. Charlie Tanner died in 1982. Two years after his death, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia honoured him with an exhibition of his work.
Reference: Charlie Tanner Retrospective, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1984. Folk Art of Nova Scotia, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1976. A Compendium of Canadian Folk Artists, Kobayashi, 1985.