Dundas Bay Cannery, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Dundas Bay Cannery, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

by | Jul 31, 2019

The ruins of Dundas Bay Cannery are located in a small embayment on the west shore of Dundas Bay, about 3 miles (5 km) southwest of the Dundas River, and about 35 miles (56 km) west of Gustavus, Alaska. Dundas Bay is about 6 miles (10 km) long, located on the north shore of Icy Strait in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The bay was named by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1879, probably for Dundas Point. Dundas Point was named in 1794 by Captain George Vancouver for Henry Dundas, who was the Treasurer of the British Navy at the time.

In 1900, the Western Fisheries Company of Portland, Oregon built a cannery in Dundas Bay. The company reportedly paid a fee to the head of the T’akdeintaan Tlingit clan for use of the land as well as for the fish in Dundas Bay. Clan members continued to fish in the Dundas River and sold their fish to the cannery. They fished primarily in Dundas and Taylor Bays, Cross Sound around Cape Spencer, Glacier Bay, Excursion Inlet, and the Alsek River delta. The cannery changed hands in 1901 when the Pacific Packing and Navigation Company purchased the facility and added a mechanized processing line. Pacific Packing and Navigation Company consolidated into one corporation the properties and fishing privileges of 23 other Alaska companies as part of the industry consolidation of that time.

In 1905, the Northwestern Fisheries Company bought the Dundas Bay facility. Historical photographs from 1912 show a village had developed adjacent to the cannery buildings with small houses and ancillary buildings, mostly built on pilings, clustered along the shore of the sheltered inlet north of the cannery. In 1932, the Northwestern Fisheries Company sold the plant to Pacific American Fisheries, but the new owner never reopened it. With the closing of the cannery, most of the Native Alaskan workers relocated to the village of Hoonah on Chichagof Island. Read more here and here. Explore more of Dundas Bay Cannery here:

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