Funter Bay History: More 1929 Photos

I recently came across some additional photos from the 1929 Alaskan Aerial Survey, conducted by the US Navy. Thanks to Richard Carstensen for sharing these! Richard had an excellent website at juneaunature.org. Also thanks to Kim Homan with the Southeast Alaska GIS Library for providing some reference information. They have put together An ArcGIS interface for locating and viewing additional aerial photos from this set.

These are very large photos, click to open them full size (may take a while to load on a slow connection).

Funter Bay viewed from the North, looking almost directly South down Chatham Strait towards Chichagof Island:

ob07016_funter75

1929 US Navy Alaska Aerial Survey Expedition (Sargent, R. and Moffit, F. 1929. Aerial photographic surveys in Southeast Alaska. USGS Bull 797-E.)

Green Mountain is in the foreground on the left. Mt Robert Barron is further ahead on the left. The large island at the head of the bay is Highwater Island, with a medium tide filling the estuary behind it, but not covering the sandbar connecting it to shore.

The next photo is not at Funter, but across Lynn Canal at Swanson Harbor (behind Point Couverden). This location was used by the Thlinket Packing Co to store fish traps in the winter, and as a convenient harbor for packers during rough weather. I found it interesting because several complete and partial fish traps are seen stored in the shallows at the head of the harbor.

ob05023_swanson

1929 US Navy Alaska Aerial Survey Expedition (Sargent, R. and Moffit, F. 1929. Aerial photographic surveys in Southeast Alaska. USGS Bull 797-E.)

This area goes dry at low tide, as seen in the modern photo below:

se05_ml_6682

Photo from NOAA Alaska Shorezone (https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/shorezone/) used as public domain.

The traps have long since disintegrated from weather and tides, ending up as mossy logs on the beaches. The pilings driven into the mudflats in the 1929 photo have also disappeared.

In addition to use as a fish trap staging area, Swanson Harbor was tied to Funter by mail service. A few homesteads and fox farms at Point Couverden received their mail at the Funter Bay post office. A cannery was reportedly begun at Swanson Harbor around 1902 by Buschmann, Thorpe & Co, but the company failed before construction was completed. There may have been a cannery or saltery prior to this, 1897 nautical charts indicate a cannery in the same location.  An 1880 map of Swanson Harbor shows an “Abandoned Indian Village” in the location of the structure seen in 1929. This is drifting further off topic, but I found it interesting enough to include here:

Swanson 1880

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One Response to Funter Bay History: More 1929 Photos

  1. […] same year as the US Navy’s aerial photo survey of Southeast Alaska (previously shown here and here), but offers a different angle on the bay. Click the image below to view it full […]

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