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The Cassiar Cannery is located at the mouth of the Skeena River, about 16 miles (25 km) from Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The name is from the Cassiar Mining District and mountains. The name "Cassiar" is derived from "Kaska", the Nahane First Nations name for this region.
The Cassiar Cannery was built in 1889 when these facilities were essentially self-sufficient small towns. The Cassiar had a store, doctor, office, cookhouses, machine shops, bunkhouses, manager houses, blacksmith, shipwrights, net lofts, all the canning and processing equipment, and power production. Internally, the fishing industry operated without money – tokens or charges for food, nets, and fuel were levied against a personal account and that was debited against paychecks.
The Grand Trunk Railroad connected the Skeena canneries to Prince Rupert in 1914, and beginning in the 1920's, the number of Skeena canneries began to drop. By the 1980's the Cassiar Cannery was the last operating salmon cannery on the Skeena River. Today the cannery no longer processes salmon but is supported by boat repairs and restorations, tourism, reclaiming red cedar and spruce from salvaged logs, and science and research through the Skeena Estuary Research Centre. Learn more about the cannery here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the shoreline of the Skeena River.