Funter Bay History: Burford Photos 1940s-1960s

August 31, 2017

This set of photos comes from the Jack and Mabel Burford Collection in the Alaska State Archives. The Burfords offered charter sport fishing trips to Funter Bay, Elfin Cove, and other areas from the 1940s into the 1960s.

Unfortunately the library did not have a working slide scanner, so I had to make do with a camera and light table. Any blurry slides are probably my own fault and not that of the original photographer! You can click on the photos to see larger scans.

Fish Traps and fishing boats near Funter Bay in 1945:

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A color slide from 1945 shows the Burfords’ boat Donjac tied up at the cannery dock. The cannery buildings are starting to look a little run down in this photo, with moss growing on the bath house roof. Several other boats are also at the dock, including a fish buying scow, a packer, and some commercial trollers.

A later trip in 1945 seems to have left the group stuck in Funter Bay waiting out a storm. A snowy series of photos are labeled “stormbound at Funter”.

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Some photos of Gunnar and Lazzette Ohman’s log cabin at Funter Bay in 1958 (misspelled on the slide labels). Lazzette has a brief autobiographical article here and a longer published book available on Amazon.

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The Burfords later operated the vessel Katinka, seen below at Funter Bay in 1959:

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Funter Bay sunsets are a popular subject of photos! I have found quite a few in a variety of different collections.

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Below are some 1960s photos. The first is undated but shows fishing boats at the mine float as seen from a plane:

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A 1961 photo shows local fisherman “Cracker Box Mac”. This nickname could have been a reference to his boat.

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Floyd Keeler at Hawk Inlet. This may be one of the hand logger brothers attributed to “Keeler’s Cabin” at the North entrance of the bay.

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The cannery in 1962, as seen from Harold and Mary Hargraves’ house. The buildings are looking even more run down and part of the dock seems to have disappeared:

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Hargraves’ home at the former saltery:

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The Pribilof cemetery near the cannery:

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And an undated photo of a very small log cabin somewhere at Funter Bay. This is a little different design than Shorty’s Cabin, but not much bigger!

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These photos are all courtesy of the Alaska State Library & Archives, Jack and Mabel Burford Collection, PCA 516.

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