Mon, March 21, 2016

Alaska Historic Canneries Grants & Update

by Anjuli Grantham


Spring arrived in Kodiak along with the first real snow fall of the year. Here is a quick run-down on recent Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative activities.


Grant Program

We received 16 applications for our small grant program, and we awarded seven grants. The recipients are:

– Deanna Baier of Dillingham, for an oral history project with 4-H

– Rick Metzger and Woody Knebel, for researching the Alitak Cannery on Kodiak Island

– Sitka History Museum, for radio programming on local seafood industry history

– Kodiak Historical Society, for printing oral histories and producing the “West Side Stories” exhibit

– Bob King and Katie Ringsmuth, for a preservation assessment of the Diamond NN cannery in South Naknek

– Tenakee Historical Collections, for cataloging their Superior Canning Company objects and archives


Congratulations to the recipients, and many thanks to our grant committee (Jo Antonson, Christine Marasigan, Rachel Mason, and Ross Coen).


Initiative Funding

We received a grant from American Seafoods for the initiative and just sent out a fundraising appeal letter to AHS members and individuals/ organizations within the seafood industry. You likely received your letter in the mail this weekend.



I presented on the initiative at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and at the Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon last month. At the end of the month, I am heading to Craig to speak at their Whale Fest. I haven’t been to Prince of Wales Island before, and I am very much looking forward to checking out this part of Southeast and the old Wards Cove cannery that is right in town.


Next week, Toby Sullivan and I are joining others to present a session on cannery history at Comfish in Kodiak. The Kodiak Maritime Museum will have information about the cannery initiative at their Comfish booth, including the materials designed by Katie Ringsmuth for the Pacific Marine Expo booth. Tomorrow, Toby and I will be interviewed on KMXT’s Talk of the Rock as a preview for the Comfish forum.


2016 Conference

Planning has started for the next AHS/ MA conference, which will be held in Juneau, September 21-24. The theme is “Exploring Alaska’s Past in the Pacific World.” Fisheries and cannery history fit into this quite nicely. Juneau will be a wonderful location for the conference, especially since we can visit the new Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives and Museum Building and Sealaska Heritage Institute.


Moreover, I’m hoping that we can engage with ADF&G, NOAA, UA Southeast, and the many other fisheries-related organizations to create sessions that explore the interdisciplinary possibilities of fisheries history. Attached please find the Call for Proposals. Proposals are due May 1. 


Please keep me posted on your own cannery history news and projects and let me know if you have any questions about initiative activities.


Thanks for all of your work and all of your support!

P.S. Thanks to all who have been contributing to the blog, and especially to Pennelope Goforth for serving as editor!