National Park Service | Documenting the Place

"Alaskan Canneries often succumb to the ravages of weather, arson or neglect. The cannery at South Naknek represents a rare exception and retains a considerable amount of historical, architectural and cultural significance."

Jennifer Pederson Weinberger | Cultural Resources Program Manager | National Park Service Alaska Regional Office

The National Park Service’s Alaska Regional Office and Katmai National Park and Preserve have actively assisted with this project. The Alaska Regional Office has provided technical assistance to the NN Cannery History Project since its inception in 2015. Initial fieldwork started in summer 2016 resulted in the completion of a Building Inventory and Assessment of the site’s 50-plus buildings.

In 2017, project historians identified the cannery’s most historically significant structures. In addition to an archaeological survey of the site to further understand the Indigenous story and to determine if the property should be nominated under criterion D, fieldwork in August 2017 collected Alaska Historic Resource Survey data, conducted interviews with former cannery workers, and consult with local residents about the project at the South Naknek Library.

According Jennifer Pederson Weinberger, Cultural Resource Program Manager at the Alaska Regional Office, “the cannery at south Naknek retains a considerable amount of historical, architectural, and cultural significance, and this project would contribute to the documentation and preservation of that information.”

As the project moves into 2018, the NN Cannery Project Team is working with Katmai National Park and Preserve, located 30 miles upriver from South Naknek, to develop interpretive programming on cannery life and culture, while efforts to connect the NN Cannery to national historic maritime sites, such as Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, continue.

 
 
 National Park Service Historical Architect John Wachtel evaluating buildings at the NN Cannery in preparation for a Nomination of the site to the National Register of Historic Places.

National Park Service Historical Architect John Wachtel evaluating buildings at the NN Cannery in preparation for a Nomination of the site to the National Register of Historic Places.

 
LaRece Egli