North Pacific Cannery, Skeena River

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North Pacific Cannery, Skeena River

by | May 31, 2020

The North Pacific Cannery was built in 1888 on 183 acres (74 ha) of Crown land near the mouth of the Skeena River, 9 miles (14.5 km) south-southeast of Prince Rupert and 3.6 miles (5.8 km) southeast of Port Edward, British Columbia. The cannery operated continuously for almost 90 years until the late 1970s.

The Skeena River is the second-longest river entirely within British Columbia, Canada (after the Fraser River). Since ancient times, the Skeena has been an important transportation artery, particularly for the Tsimshian and the Gitxsan—whose names mean “inside the Skeena River” and “people of the Skeena River”, respectively. The river and its basin sustain a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and vegetation, and communities native to the area that depend on the health of the river.

Salmon processing has been an important economic driver in the Pacific Northwest since the mid to late 19th century and at one time over 200 canneries were in operation. These canneries were built near the fishing grounds because, before the advent of refrigerated boats, the catch had to be transported and processed quickly to prevent spoilage. On the more isolated northern rivers, canneries were built as self-sustaining entities because of the physical isolation. Read more here and here. Explore more of North Pacific Cannery here:

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