The North Pacific Cannery (NPC) located near Port Edward, British Columbia, Canada, is one of the longest standing canneries in the Port Edward area. NPC was founded in 1889 by Angus Rutherford Johnston, John Alexander Carthew, and Alexander Gilmore McCandless. The plant stopped processing salmon in 1968, becoming a reduction plant until its closure in 1981 after 80 years of operations.
The North Pacific Cannery was built at the mouth of the Skeena River on “Cannery Row”. The 183 acres of land was purchased for $32 by Carthew. In order for the North Coast Marine Museum Society to preserve NPC, it had to receive funds up to $4 million, which was succeeded by the canneries 100th anniversary in 1989. NPC has 25 buildings that can be toured, including a visitor centre, canning loft, First Nations and Japanese bunk houses, European house, and the Mess House, which has been turned into a small café.
Timeline of NPCEdit
|1888||North Pacific Canning Company Ltd formed|
|1889||John Alex Carthew received a crown grant to purchase 183 acres for $32 in December|
|1891||Carthew sold plant to Henry Ogle Bell-Irving|
|1892||Bell-Irving sold plant to Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company Ltd.|
|1892||“The Big Slide”- A landslide destroys First Nations housing killing at least nine people|
|1908/1909||First Nation and Chinese worker housing removed for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway|
|1908/1909||First Nation housing moved to pillars over the Skeena River, while Chinese housing was moved close to the mountains|
|1910||Cold storage plant created|
|1914||Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) completed linking NPC and other canneries to the nation|
|1914||GTR now referred to as The Canadian National Railway|
|1918||Can making factory created; created and supplied cans to other canneries in the surrounding area|
|1920||Mild Cure plant closed|
|1923||Two-line plant. Powered by steam, water, gasoline and fuel oil|
|1936||Can making factory closed|
|1937||Reform lines installed; flat cans are turning into cylinder shapes and given top and bottoms|
|1954||Cold storage dismantled|
|1955||Reduction plant installed; creating fish meal and fish oil|
|1959||Road built along the Skeena River linking NPC and other canneries to Highway 16|
|1966||NPC becomes a part of the Village of Port Edward|
|1968||Final year of canning salmon|
|1969||The Canadian Fishing Company Ltd. become new owners of NPC in January|
|1972||One canning line restored for one season due to fire destroying Canadian Fishing Company in Prince Rupert|
|1979||North Coast Marine Museum Society formed; created in order to sponsor the restoration of NPC|
|1980||British Columbia Packers Ltd. purchase NPC plant|
|1981||NPC Plant closed|
|1985||Reduction plant machines are shipped to Mexico|
|1987||On July 7 ownership transferred from BC Packers to Village of Port Edward|
The North Coast Marine Museum SocietyEdit
In 1979, five local Port Edward community members formed The North Coast Marine Museum Society in order to save the North Pacific Cannery. NPC was not the first cannery looked at. Inverness Cannery, located next to NPC, was considered initially in 1973 but a fire destroyed the plant causing the Board of Directors to move the plans onto NPC. The North Coast Marine Museum Society originally started as The North Coast Fishing Exhibit which displayed artifacts from the fishing communities in the Prince Rupert, BC mall. In August 1985 the North Coast Marine Museum Society moved all of their artifacts to the cannery. In 1987 the BC Packers handed over the keys to the North Pacific Cannery and by gifting the cannery $840,000 and $10,000 worth contribution for the restoration of the plant, NPC was considered a national historic site.
- Dawson, Donald. “Canner receives grant for restoration.” The Daily Mail, May 2, 2000, North Pacific Cannery Village Museum, Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives.
- Napastiuk, Pavlina. “North Pacific gets $250,000 boost.” The Daily Mail. May 27, 2003, North Pacific Cannery Village Museum, Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives.
- "North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site of Canada". www.pc.gc.ca. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
- "North Pacific Cannery Collection". Arca: Discover BC's Digital Treasures. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
- Cannery, Gulf of Georgia (2017-12-18). "North Pacific Cannery". From Tides to Tins. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
- Giesbreecht, Vern. “North Pacific Cannery Gets New Life as Heritage Site Museum.” British Columbia History, Vol. 40, no. 3, Fall 2016, 29-37
- “North Pacific Cannery.” North Pacific Timeline, June 2014, North Pacific Cannery Village Museum Binder, Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives.
- Campbell, Kenneth. Everlasting Memory: A Guide to North Pacific Cannery Village Museum. North Pacific Cannery Village Museum, 1995.
- Hahn, Dina von. “Industry veterans witness North Pacific changeover.”, The Daily News,North Pacific Cannery Village Museum Binder, Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives.
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