Funter Bay History: 1929 Ordway Aerial

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum recently posted a 1929 aerial image of Funter Bay, and gave me permission to use a high-resolution scan. This photo was taken by Frederick Ordway, “Alaska’s Flying Photographer”. Ordway opened a photo shop in Juneau in 1927 and was known for photographing many Alaskan subjects. He died in 1938 in in a crash in Oregon.

The photo was taken the 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 size:


Funter Bay, Alaska Postcard, 1929, photograph by Fred Ordway. Image courtesy of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, JDCM 88.45.001.

Mount Robert Barron dominates the skyline in this image, showing nearly its full 3,475′ elevation (the very top seems to be cut off by the edge of the photo). The cannery is seen in the middle left, with Coot Cove (“Scow Bay”) in front of it. Across the bay is the AAGMC mine camp. Floating fish traps are visible in the foreground, just above the title text. These would be moored in a shallow area for winter storage, to prevent storm damage.

The view looks a little different today, as a section of the mountain experienced a landslide in the 1990s after heavy rains.


Another interesting feature from the 1929 postcard is visible in Crab Cove beyond Highwater Island. This white blob is in the right location to be the camp of the Mansfield Mine. I have not previously seen this mine photographed, so despite the lack of detail it’s still an interesting white blob!


Close up of Funter Bay, Alaska Postcard, 1929, photograph by Fred Ordway. Image courtesy of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, JDCM 88.45.001.

A survey from 1915 shows the Mansfield Company’s “Hidden Treasure Millsite”. The land claim seems to have been cancelled or denied, as it does not appear on master title plats for the area (it overlapped some other mineral claims). Unfortunately the accompanying field notes are largely illegible, so there are no details about the size and construction of buildings. The survey plat for MS 1035B shows a cabin and shed near the location photographed above.

Hidden Treasure Millsite

Today all that remains of the Mansfield camp is a faint rectangle of decaying logs where the cabin and shed used to be. Anecdotal evidence describes a stable for pack mules at this location. The Mansfield Mine hauled some equipment up to their tunnel site, including track and a single ore car, seen in a previous post.



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