This photo is from the collection of the Cordova Historical Society

As we approach the best time of year, we thought a little reminiscing about some former fishing glories might be in order. In the past, before the time of saltwater refrigeration, bleeding fish on board and air transport; canneries were built where the fish were.

Tidally influenced Eyak River was one of the sites engulfed with numerous canneries. This photo shows Northern Lights Packing, once operated by Gilbert Utness and then Norman Swanson. Look closely to see the nets strung out on the shore and the various skiffs and tenders in use. In the society’s collection are numerous grocery receipts, fuel receipts, and mechanical repair notices telling the story of the cannery and the lives of the folks who worked there. The museum will share more of the cannery stories in future issues of the Cordova Times.