Icy Strait Point is planning a series of events throughout the 2012 summer season to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hoonah Packing Co. cannery, located at the heart of the Alaska Native-owned cruise ship destination. Special treats are in store for guests each day that a cruise ship is in port — that’s 46 days between May and September. The 100th guest to disembark the cruise ship in the morning will receive a prize. Later in the day, Icy Strait Point historian Johan Dybdahl will lead a complimentary tour of the cannery. Guests also will find salmon specials on the Cookhouse Restaurant menu, the same eatery that served Hoonah Packing Co. cannery workers as far back as 1912.
The 100-year celebration event will begin on Saturday, June 23, which corresponds with the traditional start of the fishing season and will focus on the fishing history of the Icy Strait Point site and cannery. Many of the fishermen who delivered fish to the cannery or utilized the maintenance facility at the cannery will be on hand to share stories about their experiences.
A second event on Saturday, Aug. 18, will focus on the history of the cannery itself and the people who worked there. Many Hoonah community members had family who worked at the patch table, slime line or fish house, and most love telling stories about their experiences around the cannery grounds. The cannery was key in helping the community of Hoonah after the devastating fire of June 14, 1944, that destroyed most of the village.
Once the economic engine of the nearby village of Hoonah, the cannery is no longer used to process fish. Its facilities have been fully restored and guests can now take tours to find out how it operated in 1912 and enjoy a free museum that offers a historical look at the area and the commercial fishing industry in Southeast Alaska. The cannery is also home to 11 Alaskan-owned shops, offering a curated selection of Alaska Native art and crafts, wild Alaska salmon, handmade soaps, candles and beads, local Native remedies and Icy Strait Point logo items. The shops are staffed by Alaskans, many of whom are from Hoonah, and the products are locally sourced.
For a look at the cannery today, please view Icy Strait Point’s video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax1s-u25deA&list=UUPeQJGQZ2corR9vQX4HBI1A&index=22&feature=plcp.