Port Bailey, Dry Spruce Bay

Port Bailey, Dry Spruce Bay

by | Jul 3, 2019

Port Bailey is a historical cannery built by Kadiak Fisheries in 1938 in Dry Spruce Bay, off Kupreanof Strait, on the north coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The name for Dry Spruce Bay is from the translation from the Russian name given to Dry Spruce Island in 1839 or 1840 by Mikhail Murashev of the Imperial Russian Navy. The cannery is named after F. Howard Bailey who was the company general manager at the time of construction.

Kadiak Fisheries made every effort to have the most modern and efficient canning operation possible to stay competitive. The company maintained a fleet of fish tenders, pile drivers, and fishing boats. In the early years of operation, most of the fish were caught in fish traps. In 1948, a fire destroyed most of the facility, and the company rebuilt on the same site with a new cannery that started operating in 1949.

The rebuilt Port Bailey cannery was the first major salmon cannery to be constructed following World War II. Columbia Wards Fisheries purchased the Port Bailey facility in 1968, and millions of pounds of canned salmon were produced each year until the plant was closed in the late 1990s. The Port Bailey cannery was sold in 2003, its grounds suspected of being contaminated by fuel and other hazardous wastes. The subsequent owners have met with mixed success in transforming the property into a profitable enterprise. Read more here and here. Explore more of Port Bailey here:

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