Kake Salmon Cannery, 540 Keku Road, Kake, Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, AK
Significance: The Kake Cannery was one of 134 canneries built in southeast Alaska between 1878 and 1949. It is located south of Kake Village on the northwestern corner of Kupreanof Island in the Alexander Archipelago about ninety miles southeast of Juneau. The Kake Tlingits (Keex'kwaan) lived throughout Frederick Sound with permanent villages on Kuiu and Kupreanof Islands. The village name originates from a Tlingit phrase that means "The Town That Never Sleeps." In 1906 the Kake Trading & Packing Company established a King Salmon mild-cure station and dock a mile south of the village. In 1912 the Sanborn Cutting Company, the first of several out-of-state owners, bought the site and expanded it into a salmon packing cannery. Village residents and fishermen supplied the cannery with primarily pink and chum salmon from standing fish traps and beach set seine nets. Seasonal Chinese laborers butchered the catch. In 1914 the company reported that the Kake Cannery packed 22,098 cases of King, red, silver, pink, and chum salmon. By 1917 the pack exceeded 89,000 cases. Larger gas-powered boats, floating traps, and the installation of an iron chink improved production. Local participation in the industry grew as more women worked on the canning line and men joined the fishing fleet. The Alaska Pacific Salmon Corporation, a conglomerate of four southeast canneries, owned the cannery from 1926 to 1940, when the P.E. Harris Company purchased the buildings. In 1949, the Organized Village of Kake (Ovk), formed under the 1942 Indian Reorganization Act, acquired the cannery and in 1950 it became known as the Keku Cannery. The cannery has been closed since 1977.
Survey number: HAER AK-26
Building/structure dates: 1906 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1912 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1977 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 97001677