Craig Cannery, Klawock Inlet

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Craig is a village on Craig Island at the south end of Klawock Inlet, now connected to Prince of Wales Island by a causeway, and located about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Ketchikan, Alaska. In 1907, Craig Millar along with some local Haida men, established a saltery that was comprised of shacks and tents and became known as "Fish Egg" after the nearby island. The name was changed to “Craig” in 1912 when a post office was established.

Tlingit and Haida people have used this area extensively for fish camps and village sites. For example, Fish Egg Island was an important burial site and was also used for seasonal food-gathering. Between 1908 and 1911, Craig Millar constructed the Lindenberger Packing Company and cold storage plant on what is now Craig Island. At one time, the facilities included a fish processing plant, worker housing, bulk fuel storage, vessel storage, and vessel maintenance facilities. In 1917, Lindenberger sold the cannery to Sea Coast Packing Company, and in 1929, the cannery was sold to Libby McNeil and Libby. Excellent pink salmon runs contributed to the development and growth of the community through the late 1930s. In 1939, Craig had a Customs Office serving as a port of clearance for vessels traveling from British Columbia to the U.S. Territory of Alaska. During the 1950s, the fishing industry collapsed due to depleted salmon runs and in 1958, a fire destroyed most the cannery structure. By 1963, Wards Cove Packing Company were the owners, and the cannery had become a maintenance and supply station, offloading the fish to tenders for transport to the cannery at Wards Cove near Ketchikan.

In 1972, a large sawmill was built 6 miles (10 km) from Craig near Klawock, which provided year-round jobs and helped to stabilize the economy. The City of Craig now owns the cannery property which includes 5 acres (2 ha) of uplands and 5 acres (2 ha) of submerged and intertidal lands. Some of the cannery buildings, such as the web loft and administration building, are still in use today. The city has plans to renovate some of the buildings and redevelop the cannery site for commercial and public use. Read more here and here. Download the latest version of the CoastView app and explore more of the Craig Cannery here:


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