Loring, Naha Bay

Loring, Naha Bay

by | Feb 15, 2019

Loring is a small community on the west coast of Revillagigedo Island, Alaska. This fishing village was built near the head of Naha Bay around a salmon cannery established in 1885 and abandoned in 1930. Naha Bay extends east for 3 miles (4.8 km) off Behm Canal. The name is from the Tlingit language and was first reported in 1883 by W.H. Dall, of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Loring was once Ketchikan’s rival as the principal service center for the Southeast Alaska fishing and timber industries. Steamships would provide scheduled calls providing passenger and freight service. The ships would sail through the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Alaska. A typical run would include stops at a variety of ports and settlements, some no more than a salmon cannery such as Loring.

On August 12, 1889, the steam sidewheeler Ancon departed Port Townsend on a regular run north with about 100 first-class passengers, 30 steerage passengers, and 70 crew under the command of Captain David Wallace. She stopped at Victoria and then sailed directly to Tongass Narrows, roughly the site of modern Ketchikan. She then made the usual stops at Loring, Wrangell, Juneau, Killisnoo, Sitka, and then Haines and Skagway. Ancon headed south from there arriving back at the dock in Loring on August 27. Ancon tied up overnight to take aboard cases of processed salmon and got underway again at 3 am but immediately ran onto an uncharted reef, well inside the harbor and only a few hundred feet from shore. The accident was commemorated by the painting, “Wreck of the ‘Ancon’ in Loring Bay, Alaska” by Albert Bierstadt that now hangs in the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Parts of the boiler can still be seen today on the beach at Loring during very low tides. Read more here and here. Explore more of Loring here:

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