Funter Bay History: Cannery Buildings in the 1970s

Before detailing the remaining structures at Funter Bay, I would like to note that these are almost all private property. While visitors on yachts are sometimes known for poking through old buildings, this is frowned on by the owners and local residents. Any structures you see from the water are private cabins or residences (even if they look quaint or abandoned). The ramp and boardwalks at the old cannery all lead to private cabins. Residents keep a watchful eye on eachother’s properties, and are naturally curious (some Down South visitors have called us nosy) about any activity in the bay. Any unrecognized boat entering the bay becomes the immediate focus of everyone’s binoculars. If you are visiting Funter Bay, please respect private property and do not trespass on people’s yards or in old buildings. (If you want a place to poke around “old stuff”, I would suggest Scow Bay with its wrecks and steam engines).

That said, here are a few photos documenting the remaining structures at the cannery site. I’m cheating a bit, because the first photos are all my Dad’s from the 1970s, and many of the buildings shown are not, in fact, “remaining” any more. Dad came to Funter Bay on the mail boat Forester in 1972. I’ll further document more of the present-day remains in a future post.

An overview of the cannery in the early 70s, taken from the peak of Mount Robert Barron:

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And a view from the water (compare with this photo from 1907 from almost the same angle):

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The cannery dock with inset map showing photo location (red arrow). The mess hall is on the right, warehouse on the left:

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A closer view of the mess hall, taken from the dock approach ramp:

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A few views of the main warehouse buildings, which used to extend out on pilings over the bay to form a wharf:

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As you can see, the parts extending over the water had suffered a lack of maintenance! The wharf and cannery were built over solid rock outcroppings, which were not good places to drive pilings. In some places you can still see shallow depressions in the rock where workers blasted out sockets to set the pilings into. These pilings were basically resting on top of the rock, held in place by the weight of the structures on top. After a few winter storms, they began coming loose. Constant maintenance would have been required to re-seat them and shore up the buildings, and as soon as that stopped happening, things started falling apart.

Shallow piling socket blasted into rock:

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Next are a couple photos looking back East at the main cannery building, with the marine way next to it occupied by an old wooden boat. Mount Robert Barron is in the distance.

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The boat on the marine railroad seems to have reg # 314791 marked on the bow. Unfortunately, the online copies of the Merchant Vessel Registry only go through 1965, when ID numbers were just hitting the 29xxxx range. The current USCG documentation search doesn’t have a record for that number or for any likely derivatives (swapping 7s and 1s, etc).

Here is a view from 1907 similar to the one above, looking towards the cannery from the vicinity of the Watchman’s house:

Cannery view 1907

This is another view of the power house, from the early 1980s:

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I’m not entirely sure which building this is, possibly the guest house or one of the managers’ cabins.

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One Response to Funter Bay History: Cannery Buildings in the 1970s

  1. […] shown the 1970s close-up before, alongside more of Dad’s photos, in this post. The missing sections of cannery buildings which overhung the water are fairly evident […]

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