Funter Bay History: More Canned Salmon Labels

November 22, 2019

Thanks to a great Facebook group on West Coast cannery history, I’ve been seeing more examples of Funter Bay cannery packaging. These photos are courtesy of Scott McPherson, George Freddora, and Robert Critchley, and are used with permission.

An early version of the “Buster Brand” canned Pink Salmon label. Robert “Buster” Barron was the son of cannery owner J.T. Barron. I’ve written about Buster previously, his name also appeared on cannery boats and later on nearby Mt. Robert Barron.

And a later version of the “Buster” label. I’ve previously shared a black and white copy of this one.

An early “Peasant” brand can for Pink Salmon. This artwork matches the 1906 trademark filed by the Thlinket Packing Co.

Another version of the Peasant logo, probably from a few years later:

And a “Thlinket” brand label. This was also for Pink Salmon:

Suwanee Brand (Chum or “Keta” Salmon):

And a later Suwanee variant, from when the Funter Bay cannery was owned by Sunny Point Packing:

A “Tepee” Brand can for Coho ( I have also seen Tepee advertised as “standard-grade Sockeye”.)

And a “Sea Rose” brand label for Sockeye Salmon:

A well-preserved original packing crate label from Funter Bay. These wooden crates held 48 tall cans. The blank space at the top center would be for stenciling the species once the crate was packed and ready to ship.

I’ve previously posted other examples of Thlinket Packing Co labels, including “Buster” (Pink), “Tepee” (Coho), and “Sea Rose” (Sockeye). Some of these brands may have changed through the years, as I have also seen Tepee advertised as “standard-grade Sockeye”.


Funter Bay History: Pulling the Trap

June 28, 2018

Fish Traps were a major part of Southeast Alaska industry in the first half of the 20th century. I’ve mentioned the traps around Funter Bay in many previous entries, including some photos of trap operations here and some of the designs and technology here.

As noted on many of the Thlinket Packing Co’s labels, they claimed to be “The only cannery in Alaska fishing with traps exclusively”. This was said to make for “fresh, wholesome, and delicious” canned salmon. Collector George Freddora was kind enough to share a label for “Tepee Brand” Coho salmon that I had not seen before:

Tepee Brand Salmon Label, courtesy of George Freddora.

 

Below are a few photos of trap operations, including “pulling” or “brailing” the fish out of the trap. This was a popular scene to photograph, as the wriggling, splashing fish made for an exciting display. As such, there are a lot of duplicates and variants of these photos for Funter Bay! My apologies if I have posted some of these particular images before.

“Brailing Salmon into Scow”, Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

 

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

 

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

 

“T.P. Co Salmon Trap”, Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

The next image and variants of it became a popular Alaska postcard, both in original and colorized versions:

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

Photographer William Case took a number of back-to-back exposures¬† of the brailing process seen above. So far I’ve found 5 of these, and stacked them together into a quick animation:

(Various sources including Alaska State Library and University of Washington Digital Archives).

And finally, a look back at the trap (center-right) and the Kitten Islands, on the way back to the cannery.

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

 


Funter Bay History: Tugboat “Nimrod”

June 15, 2018

I’ve mentioned this boat in a few prior posts (here, and more detail here). Most of my photos have shown the boat in various stages of decay as an abandoned derelict on the beach. When I was in Juneau researching Alaska history last summer, I found a photo of the boat in better days.

‘ Nimrod, Waterman T.B. Co. Small diesel tug. Port bow, speed, racing “Ben Hur” ‘. From Lloyd Bayers collection, album 9, MS 10, Alaska State Library Historical Collection.

Close-up of the above photo.

As mentioned before, the Nimrod was built in 1903 and served a variety of towing companies in Washington State, including the Waterman Co. It showed up in Funter Bay sometime in the 1960s as a fishing boat owned by local resident Elmer P. Loose. It’s been pulled up on the beach since approximately 1965, evolving from a boat shape into a more relaxed pile of wood and metal, slowly returning to the soil.

It’s always nice to see the “before” photos for something that’s well into the “after” stages! Plus it adds a special extra dimension to a familiar object or site from childhood.


Funter Bay History: An-Dis-Cla

June 15, 2018

While searching through the Alaska State Library’s collection, I found a portrait of an elderly Tlingit woman photographed in 1908 at Funter Bay. The photo is labeled “An-Dis-Cla”, presumably the woman’s name. I am assuming she worked at the cannery or was part of the seasonal Tlingit community nearby, as most of the photos from this collection are related to the cannery.

This photo is notable for a few reasons. The photographers Case and Draper took a number of photos at Funter Bay, but rarely if ever included the names of their subjects. They also photographed most of the cannery workers in groups rather than individually, the expense of glass negatives would make a personal portrait somewhat special. The other Tlingit women Case & Draper photographed also had a tendency to avoid eye contact with the camera, as mentioned here and in this book.

I have not been able to find anything about the woman shown in this photo. If any readers know more, I would be interested to hear it!


Funter Bay History: The Expanded Misadventures of Fred Patrick

May 9, 2018

After writing about Funter Bay resident Fred Patrick and his accident-prone life, I dug a little deeper into the original news articles. My prior information all came from summaries written by historian “Kinky” Bayers. The articles he references are mostly available in the Alaska State Library on microfilm.

An article from October of 1931 gives more detail of Fred Patrick’s shooting of Harold Tipton. Apparently Patrick was a “fox rancher” at the time, and Tipton was the cannery watchman at Funter Bay. Both were partaking in moonshine at a “small gathering” when Patrick decided to air some sort of grievance with a gun.

Fred Patrick 2

I was not able to find a follow-up article with the results of this matter. Whether Fred Patrick spent any time in jail for the incident is uncertain.

Fred shows up again in the news in 1938, when fellow fisherman George Ford sank his boat, and the two went missing briefly.

And Fred again ran into trouble with guns in 1939, this time in Elfin Cove.

SONY DSC

That’s all I’ve found so far on fisherman, fox rancher, careless gun owner, and all-around unlucky fellow Fred Patrick. If I encounter him again in newspaper archives I will continue posting his exploits!


Funter Bay History: Trolling in 1952

October 12, 2017

The Juneau Douglas City Museum provided this set of 1952 slides showing some commercial fishing at Funter Bay. Trolling doesn’t seem to have changed much since then! This set is from the Carl and Caroline Jensen collection, Accession # 2002.45. http://www.juneau.org/parkrec/museum/v_exhibit/exhibit4/e41293a.htm

Below we see Carl Jensen cleaning fish near the entrance of Funter Bay. A skein of salmon eggs is in his hand. The cannery and some other trollers are barely visible in the background:

These photos were taken near the end of the fish trap era. Traps competed with trollers such as the Jensens, catching fish on a much more destructive industrial scale. Below we see a cannery tender loading a scow from a floating trap:

And another view of a trap (possibly the same one) with a red watchman’s shack. A cannery employee would live at the trap to keep fish pirates from robbing it. Many commercial fishermen hated the traps and would steal fish from them if they got the chance!

Below we see the fishermen parked at the float at Funter Bay in the morning (based on the sun). Carl Jensen is seen picking herring from a net, likely set from the side of the boat overnight. These would be used as the day’s bait.

The herring threaded onto hooks can be seen a bucket below:

Whales, likely bubble-net feeding on small fish:

The lighthouse at Point Retreat, northern end of Admiralty Island:

Sunset at Funter Bay:

Thank you to the JDCM for helping me locate and scan these, and thanks to the Jensen family for donating this great documentation of fishing 60 years ago!


Funter Bay History: A Commemorative Plate

September 15, 2017

This somewhat mysterious artifact rests in the Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s collections. A fancy gold-edged plate or dish with a portrait of five Native Alaskan women from Funter Bay.

SONY DSC

 

The plate has no indication of when or why it was made, the only marks other than Museum collection numbers being a “Made in Germany” stamp on the bottom.

SONY DSC

The artwork is not attributed on the plate itself, but is clearly based on a 1907 Case & Draper photo from Funter Bay.

SONY DSC

plate5

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Case & Draper Photograph Collection, PCA 39

Whether the plate was commissioned by the Thlinket Packing Co, or by Case & Draper studios, or by someone else, I don’t know. I’m also not sure if it were a one-off product for a company executive or family member, or some mass-produced item sold as a souvenir or offered as advertising material. Such plates with Alaska scenes were sometimes commissioned by companies as advertising, but there is no company name on it.

The JDCM catalog notes that this was donated by Mamie and Marcus Jensen, and used by the Feusi family of Douglas.

I would love to find more information on this curious Funter Bay plate, if anyone knows more they are encouraged to contact me!

SONY DSC

 

Thanks again to the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for letting me see and photograph this artifact!