Alaska’s Endangered Canneries
Diamond X Cannery on the Ugashik River in Bristol Bay.
This photo was taken in 1994. The cannery is now totally destroyed.
Image courtesy Bob King.
Kake Cannery is a National Historic Landmark and only one of two canneries listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Alaska. Constructed between 1912 and 1940, the multiethnic labor force ate meals in the mess halls, meandered along the board walks, got too few hours of sleep in the segregated bunk houses, and processed tens of thousands of cans of salmon that were brought in by independent fishermen and from cannery-owned fish traps.
Today, the Kake Cannery is teetering on rotting pilings. It is one of dozens of historic canneries across Alaska that is on the verge of collapse. The Alaska Historical Society is dedicated to advocating for the preservation and documentation of canneries like the one in Kake. Please stay posted to learn more about cannery preservation and documentation efforts, both here and at 49 History’s sister blog, Alaska’s Historic Canneries.