Shepard Point Cannery, Nelson Bay

Shepard Point Cannery, Nelson Bay

by | Aug 3, 2019

Shepard Point is a low headland on the northeast shore of Nelson Bay at the head of Orca Inlet, about 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of the Rude River delta, and 7 miles (11.3 km) northeast of Cordova, Alaska. Nelson Bay is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide and named for the proposed townsite of Nelson which was never developed. Shepard Point is a local name first reported by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1931.

The Canoe Pass Packing Company built a cannery at Canoe Pass in Southeast Alaska in 1912 but it never operated at that location. In 1915, the machinery was moved to Cordova where it was installed in a rented building. The company hired Jack Shepard to build a cannery at a location later named Shepard Point. Canoe Pass Packing consolidated with the Carlisle Packing Company in 1924. The cannery at Shepard Point was last operated in 1942 by the Central Alaska Packing Company. It was destroyed by fire in 1945.

Jack Shepard moved to Alaska in 1886 to prospect for gold, but by 1900, he was working as a laborer at the Orca cannery on Orca Inlet, now a private lodge about 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Cordova. From 1900 to 1910, he was the postmaster at Orca and also the agent for the Northwest Fisheries Agency. Between 1915-1917, he established the fish processing plant at Shepard Point on the northeast shore of Orca Inlet. In 1924, Jack was appointed postmaster at Cordova. He died in 1941 while waiting for a boat in Seward to take him to Anchorage. Read more here and here. Explore more of Shepard Point here:

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