Funter Bay History: A 1919 Honeymoon Trip

July 20, 2017

One fascinating source of historic Alaska photos are the vacation albums created by past visitors. The Alaska State Library & Archives has several such albums donated by collectors and families of the original photographers. These provide a great cross section of historic Alaskan tourism, as well as a glimpse into the interests of the tourists (some photographed glaciers while others focused on wildlife and still others on industry).

An album from July of 1919 follows the journey of some newlyweds from Seattle to Southeast Alaska. Unfortunately the names of the couple is not known. They sailed on the steamship Admiral Evans, which made stops at the canneries in Funter Bay and nearby Hawk Inlet.

1919 Album 1

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

It’s not clear if the following photo of salmon on a cannery floor was taken at Funter or Hawk Inlet. Both canneries would have looked similar inside.

1919 Album 2

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

 

1919 Album 3

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

The next photo of the USS Marblehead is quite interesting. I mentioned the Marblehead’s anti-piracy visit and showed a postcard photo from a different angle in this post.

1919 Album 4

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

A newspaper article from Juneau mentioned the Marblehead that same month:

Marblehead article

Getting back to the photo album, a wider view shows the cannery with native worker village on the right, and a denuded small island in the foreground (probably Gauge Is.)

1919 Album 5

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

A pair of photos show the young couple taking turns posing in the woods at Funter Bay:

1919 Album 6

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

 

1919 Album 7

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

And finally, a shipboard photo as the steamer left Funter Bay:

1919 Album 8

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives, Alaska Travel Photograph Album,1919, PCA 425-09

If anyone happens to recognize these people, I would love to hear about it!


Funter Bay History: Cannery Shipping and Maintenance

June 30, 2016

I recently received a few Funter Bay images from Michael and Carolyn Nore, collectors of historic Alaska postcards and photos. These show some of the Thlinket Packing Co’s operations between about 1914 and 1920. Most are prior to 1918 (based on the cards used), but some are from the same summer as the photos seen previously in this post.

The first photo is a great shot of the Cannery wharf and main buildings, marked “Front View of Cannery”. The large “Thlinket Packing Co” sign is visible above the warehouse. The mess hall and store is barely visible in the rear right, and the Superintendent’s house with its large porch is seen on the left.

funter bay2 5-18-16 copy

Moving inland, a set of two images show the rear of the cannery buildings. The large chimneys were from the main boiler house.

funter bay6 5-18-16 copy funter bay4 back view of cannery 5-18-16 copy

The previous photo shows a number of handprints marking the foreground building. I am not sure what this building is, as it does not appear on either the 1964 or 1942 property maps.

Another set shows one of the cannery’s steam-powered pile drivers. I am not sure how many of these units the Thlinket Packing co owned, the remains of a smaller one is on the beach at Funter Bay. A large unit nearly identical to the one in these pictures appears in a 1926 photo at the mine wharf (seen on this page).

funter bay8 5-18-16 copy funter bay1 5-18-16 copy

Some scows, rowboats, and a gas boat are seen at the dock and wharf in the next photo. This is a little later than the others, dated May 21 1920:

funter bay11 6-29-16 copy

The photo below shows a gas boat or launch under the pipeline from the cannery’s oil tank, in June 1920.

funter bay9 6-29-16 copy

The next photo is labeled “One of the company tugs with a diver repairing her rudder”. It shows a sailing vessel alongside the cannery’s steam tug Anna Barron and a variety of smaller boats. Men on the sailboat are operating an air compressor and have lowered a ladder and several pipes and ropes over the side. What appears to be a diving suit is draped over the sailboat’s boom.

funter bay3 tug repair by diver 5-18-16 copy

Moving up in vessel sizes, the next photo shows the Pacific Coast Steamship Co’s City of Seattle at the cannery wharf. The appearance of the ship dates this to 1914 or later, as the City of Seattle was completely rebuilt that year and converted from coal to oil fuel. Prior to 1914 the ship had a different superstructure and the foremast was aft of the wheelhouse, as seen here. The re-built ship can also be seen here and a description of the refit is here. Like other commercial steamers, the ship would call at canneries as needed to transport supplies, products, and workers.

funter bay5 steamer city of seattle 5-18-16 copy

Next is a photo of the “Indian Village” located Northeast of the cannery. While postcards tend to call this a village, most accounts state it was not occupied year round. The area was more of a seasonal camp for native employees of the cannery who lived there in the summer.

funter bay7 indian village near cannery 5-18-16 copy

And the last photo shows an interesting gazebo on the hill behind the cannery, with some Tlingit employees relaxing on benches. What appear to be a number of halibut can be seen hanging from the boardwalk below. The date is not given but is probably between 1914-1918.

funter bay10 6-29-16 copy

Thanks again to the Nores for sharing these great images!


Funter Bay History: Annual Cannery Reports

August 8, 2015

Salmon canneries such as the one at Funter Bay were required to file annual reports to the government, detailing statistical information on their catches, employees, and financial situation. These are recorded in the National Archives Record Group 22, Records of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Formerly the US Fisheries Bureau). A number these records can be downloaded from the NOAA document library, although they are not clearly indexed. I was able to find the annual reports for 12 of the 29 years (1902-1931) that the Funter Bay Cannery was actively working. The original PDF files can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.

1904 header

Some of the information in the reports seems to contradict other sources in regards to the size and number of boats, demographics of workers, etc. I am not sure which sources are the most reliable, but the official nature and later requirement for notarized reports suggest some degree of accuracy with these. That does not necessarily mean they are *complete*, as there are plenty of hints elsewhere of “creative” legal loopholes. For example, boats described elsewhere but not listed here may have been owned privately by company executives rather than the company itself. It is also not clear if wages were calculated before or after any deductions for room & board, company store, etc.

In 1904 the Funter cannery was valued at $150,000 and had $80,000 in stock. It paid $27,000 in wages to 75 plant employees, including 25 White, 20 Native Alaskan, 30 Chinese, and 20 Japanese workers. In addition, 28 Fishermen were employed, including 17 Whites and 3 Natives. There was one 82 ton steam vessel worth $17,000 with a crew of 5, 8 skiffs, 3 lighters, 3 scows, and 2 pile drivers, together worth $12,500. The cannery handled mostly Red (210,000) and Pink (330,000) salmon, with smaller numbers of Silver (48,000), Dog (6,500), and Kings (800). Market value of the catch for 1904 through Ocbober was $147,463. All traps were in Icy Strait, Chatham Strait, or Lynn Canal.

In 1906 the value of the plant had increased to $300,000, and wages to $51,000. The number of fishermen dropped to 20 White men, while Cannery workers increased to 12 White, 35 Native, 44 Chinese, and 18 Japanese. An additional steamer was added but was not in regular use. One pile driver, 3 skiffs, and all 3 lighters vanished from the roster, the small boats were replaced by (or perhaps reclassified as) dories. Two more scows were added. In 1906 the cannery handled 600,000 Pink salmon, 220,000 Reds, 110,000 Dogs, 42,000 Silvers, and 900 Kings, worth $214,719.

In 1910 the reporting form changed slightly. The cannery was reportedly worth $500,000 and had 3 resident superintendents and 20 salaried clerks and employees. Wages for salaried employees were $18,600, cannery workers $47,800, fishermen $25,000 and transporters $3,600. The total work force included 51 White, 106 Native, 77 Chinese, and 38 Japanese. The cannery had 2 steamers, 15 rowboats, 10 lighters and scows, and had added back one pile driver for a total of two. Eight fish traps were reported. The sailing vessel General Fairchild is mentioned as being owned, but not used. Production is listed this year in terms of cases, with 9,610 cases of Coho (Silver), 16,668 of Dog (Chum), 40,805 of Pink (Humpback), and 31,583 of Red (Sockeye). Reds were in two can sizes.  In addition, pickled or salted fish are reported in this year, including 2 barrels of whole King salmon and 11 barrels of King bellies. Total value appears to have been $392,081.80 (from 1910 to 1915 the totals are not given explicitly, and the income sheet seems to have been used as a scratch pad). This year also introduced the notary requirement, with company secretary M.G, Munley acting as notary for owner James T Barron.

signatures 1910

In 1911 there were 61 White, 90 Native, 75 Chinese, and 48 Japanese employees. The company now had 25 rowboats and 11 lighters and scows. There were 12 stationary fish traps. 10,946 cases of Coho, 20,224 of Dog, 43,844 of Pink, 341 of King, and 23,928 of Red salmon were produced, apparently worth $415,477.06. No pickled fish were reported this year. Manager Fred Barker signed off on the 1911 report instead of Barron.

The 1912 report deals mostly with the type of salmon caught, and does not contain income, equipment, or employee data (one or more pages may be missing). 750 Kings were caught in Icy Straight between Excursion Inlet and Point Couverden (the Homeshore stretch). 187 Kings were caught in Chatham between Funter Bay and Point Retreat. All Kings were caught between June 10 and July 10. A total of 351,309 Reds were caught between June 12 and Sept 1. 508,050 Pinks were caught between June 20 and Aug 20. 69,853 Coho between July 15 and Sept 12, and 354 Dog salmon between June 12 and Sept 12. Most of the fish of each species were caught in the traps at Homeshore.

The 1913 report goes back to detailing workers and boats. This year saw 79 White, 48 Native, 44 Chinese, and 44 Japanese employees at the cannery. There were 13 stationary traps and 3 pile drivers. One skiff had disappeared since 1911. 6,164 cases of Coho, 19,766 of Dog, 60,230 of Pink, 220 of King, and 25,494 of Red salmon were packed. No salt/pickled fish were reported. Total value seems to have been around $413,192. A detailed report similar to the 1912 data is appended showing how many fish were caught where on which dates.

The 1915 report changed format again, now reporting vessel names (Gas launch Buster and Steamer Anna Barron were the two large boats, there was also an unnamed gas launch). 17 staked traps were listed. Employees included 62 White, 51 Native, 75 Chinese, 30 Japanese, 4 Filipino, 1 Korean, and 4 Mexican (earlier reports did not have so many categories, and could have lumped Filipino and Korean workers into another category). Sockeye were packed in three different can sizes, for a total of 22,231 cases, King production was 339 cases, Coho 4,996, Pink 48,450, and Chum 16,873. Total value was $311,547.64.

1916 saw 107 White, 63 Native, 64 Chinese, 38 Japanese, and 4 Filipino workers, with total wages paid of $100,000. 23 staked traps are listed. The pack included 134 cases of Kings, 15,560 of Red, 15,028 of Coho, 65,809 of Pink, and 25,292 of Chum worth $495,015.80. A note stated that the cannery did not count individual fish, but estimated catch numbers based on cases packed and average weights. superintendent H.W. Chutte signed off on the 1916 report.

1918 saw 93 White, 50 Native, 46 Chinese, 44 Japanese, 14 Filipino, and 3 Mexican employees, paid a total of $129,500. The gas boat Barron F was added to the roster. The number and type of traps stayed the same. More species were packed in different can sizes, including 1/2 lb “48s”, 1lb flat cans, and 1lb tall cans. 6,570 cases of Coho were packed, 41,590 of Pink, 28,732 of Chum, 577 of King, and 26,274 of Red, worth $568,438.46. James Barron went back to signing off on the reports.

1920 saw a change in name from Thlinket Packing Company to Corporation. The fishing method also started to shift drastically towards floating traps (12 reported) and away from staked traps (9 reported). Buildings were valued at $257,500 and trap sites at $400,000. Workforce included 94 White, 22 Native, 40 Chinese, 44 Japanese, and 7 Filipino, and wages were $115,500. One floating trap worth $1,200 was reported lost. 5,126 cases of Coho, 12,663 of Chum, 17,971 of Pink, 167 of King, and 15,445 of Red were packed, for $262,916.23.

After 1920’s drastic decrease in sales, 1921 saw a smaller workforce of 52 White, 65 Native, 24 Chinese, 15 Japanese, and 8 Filipino, paid a total of $63,152.42. The Steamer Anna Barron was reportedly taken out of state. The company by now had 31 rowboats and 16 scows. 1 pile driver is listed. Only 5 staked traps and 6 floating traps are listed, along with 1 rented trap and 6 trap frames which were hauled out on the beach and not in use. Production ceased on the smaller cans (except for Reds), total pack was 8,250 cases of Coho, 10,114 of Chum, 13,820 of Pink, 126 of King, and 9,916 of Red, worth $187,095. Sales Manager C.F. Whitney signed off on this year’s report.

1922’s report had 68 White, 42 Native, 23 Chinese, and 25 Filipino employees, paid $51,020. 4 staked traps and 6 floating traps were used, 3 trap sites were leased from another company. 2 Floating traps were reported washed away, for a loss of $8,400. The smaller cans made a reappearance and were especially popular for Sockeye, with a total production of 4,901 Coho cases, 4,017 Chum, 17.023 Pink, 30 King, and 11,755 Red. Value was $103,025.

stats

These falling numbers may have led to the property’s 1926 sale to Sunny Point Packing. The marked decline of the salmon runs after 1920 was due to overfishing and the ongoing proliferation of fish traps (which peaked around that year). After 1920 there were many new regulations and attempts at protecting the fish stocks, but by 1953 Alaska’s salmon industry was declared a major disaster by the Federal government. Fish traps were outlawed after statehood in 1959, and modern boat-based fisheries are more tightly managed and regulated.

For those still awake and wanting more statistics, the original reports are below:

1904 Report of Salmon Operations for Funter Bay Cannery
1906 Report of Salmon Operations for Funter Bay Cannery

1910 Report of Operations by Funter Bay Cannery
1911 Report of Operations by Funter Bay Cannery
1912 Report of Salmon Operations by Thlinket Packing Co
1913 Report of Operations by Thlinket Packing Co
1915 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Co
1916 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Co
1918 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Co
1920 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Corporation
1921 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Corporation
1922 Statistics of Fishing Industry by Thlinket Packing Corporation


Funter Bay History: A 1906 Visit

April 23, 2015

An article in the January, 1906 issue of Recreation magazine describes a visit to Funter Bay. Mining Engineer Waverley Keeling penned the piece, entitled “From the Delaware to Alaska” from a bunkhouse in Funter Bay. He describes it as a business stop at “a quartz mine”, but mentions that his party would also “shoot some of the thousands of ducks and a few deer, dig clams at low tide, and catch halibut at any tide”.

mallards

From Keeling, Waverley; “From the Delaware to Alaska”; Recreation, vol 24, No 1, January 1906.

The photo from Funter Bay accompanying the text appears to show Coot Cove. The photographer was on the Western shore looking towards the area which would later be home to the cannery’s scow slipways.

Keeling describes his lodgings as a boarding house “near the shore of a beautiful little harbor called Funter Bay, and just back of us are the peaks of Snow Mountains some 4,000 feet high” (The mountain was not yet named for Robert Barron). He wrote from the combined kitchen and dining table, by the light of a large swinging lamp and tallow candle stuck in a beer bottle, sitting on “the hardest spruce-board stool that man ever constructed”. The group of six had purchased mining properties around Lake Atlin, BC, and had stopped in Funter as a side trip on the way North. They sailed to Funter on the “big Columbia River sailboat of that famous southeast Alaskan, Windy Bill”.

While Keeling notes the beauty and abundant wildlife of Funter Bay, he also comments on the downsides; “there is no particular season of the year when it doesn’t rain. The thermometer at Funter Bay since we came has been up to 40, and the rain which descended that day was as unmistakably an outpouring of ‘settled cloudiness’ as anything I have ever seen or felt in Pennsylvania”.


Funter Bay History: Canning Process

March 4, 2015

I have previously mentioned some of the techniques and methods involved in early 20th-century cannery operations, but this post follows the entire salmon canning process from the ocean to the grocery store!

At Southeast Alaska canneries like the one at Funter Bay, the first step was the fish trap, either the floating or pile variety (I discussed fish trap types and issues here, and have a location map here).

trap_diagram

Image courtesy of Historic American Engineering Record / Library of Congress, Tim Whitely 1993. Modified from http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ak0437.sheet.00002a/

After the trap was filled with fish, it would be “brailed” or emptied into a scow (barge) by lifting the nets and dumping the fish. I previously posted a set of postcard images showing this process here.

funter_brailing_1908

Courtesy University of Washington Freshwater and Marine Image Bank

Full scows were then towed by cannery tenders to the wharf. Below are several loads of salmon arriving at the Funter cannery:

scows2

Courtesy of the Alaska State Library, William R Norton collection, P226-445

The following diagrams from the Historic American Engineering Record show the canning process at a typical Alaska operation (The Kake cannery, which was under the same ownership as the Funter Bay cannery in the 1930s):

kake1

Courtesy of Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, Tim Whiteley and James Creech, 1993 & 1995.

kake2

Courtesy of Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, Tim Whiteley and James Creech, 1993 & 1995.

Once at the cannery, the fish were unloaded by hand into a “Fish Elevator”, an angled conveyor belt which moved them up to the level of the processing line. A video clip of such a fish elevator in action can be seen here. The salmon were then sorted by species (unwanted bycatch fish were usually discarded at the scow before loading onto the elevator).

The sorted salmon were run through the canning line one species at a time, each species typically had its own brand and label. First the salmon were cleaned and dressed. Originally this was done by hand with a crew of laborers (often Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino, although the Thlinket Packing co initially had many Tlingit Native employees). Later the cleaning process was automated, with an unfortunately-named device replacing many of the labor-intensive steps in preparing the salmon.

kake3

funter_iron

During the fish cleaning process, offal (heads, gills, and guts) was conveyed to a waste bin. It was later loaded back into empty scows for disposal, as seen in this post. A small amount was sometimes sold to fur farms to feed fox and mink, but most was simply discarded. This is still commonly done in many canneries.

The hills in the photo below seem to match the head of Funter Bay, this could have been taken while dumping fish waste near the mouth of the bay.

seagulls

The following five photos are from a standard cannery of very similar design to the Thlinket Packing Co’s Funter Bay plant. These are from the Pacific Fisherman Volume 4 Annual Yearbook, of 1906, and are used as public domain per the Freshwater and Marine Image Bank’s policy. The article describes this as a cannery in Puget Sound, although one of the photos used in the article  is also labeled on a postcard as “Robert Barron’s Cannery” of “Fonters Bay”.

After cleaning, the next step for salmon bodies was cutting, originally by hand and later done by a mechanical gang knife. This sized the fish appropriately to fit in cans.

gang_knives

Cans were filled, crimped, washed, topped, and soldered shut. Again, more and more of this process became automated over time.

crimping_maching

soldering_machine

The soldered-shut cans were cooked in a retort, essentially a large steam pressure cooker (a small vent hole was left in the can during cooking, and soldered shut afterward). At the Washington cannery this was done for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 240 degrees F and 15psi.

retort

After being removed from the retort and given time to cool, the cans were run through a labeling machine to receive the appropriate label for the species and brand. Quality control workers checked the weight and seal at various points during the process.

labelling machine

Some can labels from the Thlinket Packing Co are seen in this post.

Finished cans were packed into boxes built from prefab sections and assembled at the cannery.

The next two images were in a batch of photographs from Funter Bay, taken around 1919. The first photo appears to show cans moving through some machinery (perhaps the soldering machine) and stacking up on a cooling rack prior to being loaded into a retort for cooking. The exposure is long enough that the top row of cans appeared on the pile while the shutter was open (they look transparent). People moving in the background are also blurry. Assembled wooden boxes are seen in the background.

machinery2

The next photo is a little harder to make out, but includes an angled ramp on the right hand side, similar to the can filler machine. Empty cans were stored in the loft above the canning floor, and dropped down to the working stations through these ramps. Overhead belts fed power to the equipment from a central engine. A spare belt is seen wrapped around the top of the machine.

machinery1

The filler machine at Funter Bay can be seen below. empty cans are being fed in from overhead ramps:

funter_filler_machine

Courtesy of Alaska State Library, William R. Norton Photograph collection, ASL-P226-453

The interior of the T.P. Co Cannery at Funter is seen in this 1907 image (below). Metal cooling racks are stacked on the right, while conveyors are in the center. A vent hood near the middle could be a soldering station. A slightly different version of this image labeled “Interior Canning Department” can be seen here.

Another image from about the same time shows 75,000 cases of salmon in the Thlinket Packing Co’s warehouse. The cans have not yet been boxed up. Another warehouse view is here.

Once packaged, the finished product was shipped South on commercial steamers or on freight ships owned by the cannery, to be sold to wholesale grocers for delivery to the consumer. Salmon in a can would appear on the shelf much as it does today, in fact the colors and art used on labels today is very similar to that of historic labels.

2005_06_191_f

Sea Rose Brand Salmon Label from Thlinket Packing Co., c. 1905. Image courtesy of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, 2005.06.191.

 

modern_cans

Modern salmon cans, photo by the author.

 

 

 


Funter Bay History: Cannery Tender Operations

February 27, 2015

Some photos from July of 1920 show several of the cannery tenders (fish handling boats) and barges at the Thlinket Packing Co.

barron

Above, the Anna Barron maneuvers two loaded fish scows up to the cannery wharf. This vessel is discussed further here.

A close-up of one of the scows shows a full load of salmon fresh from the traps:

salmon2

Below is another Thlinket Packing Co boat, the Barron F, seen in front of the cannery wharf with Highwater Island and Mt. Robert Barron behind. This 98-year-old boat is still working the West Coast, I have a number of photos courtesy of the present owner available here.

barron_f

Unlike the Anna Barron, which was configured as a tugboat, the Barron F was a packer or cargo vessel with large midships hold. The Funter Bay cannery had several of each type of vessel, used somewhat interchangeably depending on the task at hand.

The next photo shows a scow, now emptied of salmon, being loaded with waste from the canning line. Elevated wooden bins held heads, guts, and other unwanted bits of fish until they could be dumped into a scow. The scow was then towed to deeper water and dumped. This kept the cannery smelling slightly better, with fewer bears nosing around, than if the waste were simply dumped directly in front. The cannery’s oil tank is visible on the point in the background.

dump

In the last photo, we see one of the cannery tenders towing a piledriver out of the bay. The profile of the vessel suggests it might be the Anna Barron. Smoke is coming from the pile driver’s steam engine, which suggests it will soon be at work on one of the fish traps outside the bay.

piledriver


Funter Bay History: Cannery Workers in the 1920s

February 26, 2015

My last post displayed some 1920s-era postcards (RPPCs) from Funter Bay, showing buildings and boats of the Thlinket Packing Company’s salmon cannery. Other postcards from the same set show some of the workers and people associated with the cannery in the same time period. It is not clear if these are commercial mass-produced postcards or personal images printed on postcard stock.

Here we see a group of men unloading items from the hold of a ship. The items are likely knocked-down cases for canned salmon. These would be assembled, filled with cans, and then shipped out again. An example of assembled cases can be seen here. In the background are Tlingit native houses and a scow or barge.

Unloading Ship

The next two photos are not labeled as Funter Bay, but were found alongside Funter Bay photos in the same collection. The firewood behind the seated man looks very similar to the wood stacked next to the boardwalk seen in a previous post. Also visible in the background is a wooden frame for clotheslines with hanging laundry, and some fencing or netting, similar to the garden fencing and clotheslines seen before. I suspect this fellow was one of the Tlingit Natives who worked at the cannery during the summers.

Lumberman

The next photo is labeled (in reverse) “Native Cannery Hands”. The photo seems to be printed in the correct orientation based on the product held by the small boy, reading “Sw… Pr…” (perhaps candy?). In a previous post I linked to a report indicating native children as young as 8 sometimes worked 9-hour days for 10 cents an hour.

Native Cannery Hands

There is a lot going on in the above photo. The man on the right is making some sort of gesture or counting 3. The younger people are all looking at the camera and many are smiling, while the older woman stares away with a stern expression. This phenomenon is noted in “The Tlingit Encounter with Photography” where author Sharon Gmelch points out that Tlingit women photographed at Funter Bay tended to look away from the camera unsmiling. One explanation is that smiling for a picture was considered disrespectful by elders. (As another side note, the 1907 photo of the Tlingit women apparently found its way onto a commemorative porcelain plate made in Germany in 1910, which is now at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum).

Another notable feature of these 1920s photos is the popularity of hats or headgear. The children display a variety of hats, including what looks like a naval hat on the smallest boy (marked with a steering wheel at the front). The men unloading the ship mostly have caps, while someone in the hold and someone in the foreground seem to have fedoras (perhaps the bosses?). Earlier photos of Funter Bay workers also show a wide variety of hats, especially among the men. I am not sure if hats were universally popular among all Alaskans/Americans at the time, or if this were a local cultural habit.

A man rowing a boat near the cannery may have been another cannery employee. He appears to have several cut logs in the boat, perhaps for firewood.

rowboat

Another portrait shows a man of possible Asian heritage, standing on the wharf at the cannery (Mt. Robert Barron is barely visible behind him). He appears to be the only hat-less person in this post!

man

Several people are shown on the cannery wharf with fish in the photos below. These may be some Ballard (Seattle) High School students who visited Funter Bay in 1919, as the images were in the same batch and are colorized similarly to some photos of that group (to be detailed in a later post).

These two have caught salmon, likely with rod and reel:

salmon

And here we see a large halibut (probably in the 150-200lb range). The men are standing on nets, but halibut are usually caught with rod or ground tackle (longlines).

halibut

If any readers happen to recognize any of the people shown here, I would love to hear about it!