Photographer's Note

At the turn of the last century, from the Sacramento River in California to the Yukon River in Alaska, there stood close to a thousand salmon canneries. Of these, more than half were rural canneries on river mouths in isolated areas of northern British Columbia and the Panhandle of southeast Alaska.
These rural canneries provided work for a multicultural work force of fishermen, boat builders and cannery workers. Living quarters also had to be provided. Canneries had as many as two thousand people living and working on site. This was due to the fact that most of the workers brought their families with them for the five month period from May to September when the canning was done. In the winter, these same sites became ghost towns. Today, more than eighty percent of these rural canneries are gone, burned down and their sites returned to nature. Often you cannot tell where they were.
The oldest standing cannery village on the B.C. coast is on Inverness Passage in the District of Port Edward, itself a fishing village which celebrated its fortieth year of incorporation in 2006. North Pacific was in operation from 1889 to 1958, with a short reprise in 1972 for one more season. It also had a reduction plant for the reduction of herring and salmon offal to oil and meal, which ran from 1954 to 1981. North Pacific stands today as a museum and as a reminder of the rural canneries which helped to commercialize the salmon industry and create the racial tolerance which continues to exist in the north.

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Additional Photos by Mirari Mirarer (mirarer) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 494 W: 0 N: 603] (4751)
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