Chip Cove Cannery, Moser Bay

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Chip Cove Cannery, Moser Bay

by | Oct 2, 2019

Chip Cove is an embayment about 0.2 miles (0.3 km) across, on the west shore of Moser Bay, on the southwestern coast of Kodiak Island, 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Karluk and 83 miles (131 km) southwest of Kodiak, Alaska. The cove was named in 1900 by Lieutenant Commander J.F. Moser of the U.S. Navy who was in command of the U.S Bureau of Fisheries steamer Albatross that made surveys in this area from 1897 to 1901.

In 1937, Captain R.D. Suryan of Anacortes Washington came to Moser Bay with a floating cannery to pack salmon. Suryan had purchased the Commander, formerly a passenger ferry named General Frisbie that operated on San Francisco Bay and later in Puget Sound, and had it converted to house canning equipment and workers. The newly configured Commander sailed north to Alaska on May 25, 1937, operated all summer and returned to Puget Sound in the fall to sell the canned fish. A fleet of powered skiffs and two small seiners supplied the salmon for the operation that was later incorporated as the Far North Packing and Shipping Company. In 1939, the company beached the Commander and built a warehouse, fish house, and cold storage facility on shore at Chip Cove. The Commander was part of the cannery operations until she was broken up in 1950.

In 1946, the cannery was sold to Libby McNeil and Libby. In 1951 a fire destroyed the fish house but most of the other buildings were saved. In 1959, Libby McNeil and Libby withdrew from the Kodiak fishing district, selling the Moser Bay cannery to Columbia Wards Fisheries. Today, the facility no longer processes salmon but is used as a station for net repair and obtaining supplies. Read more here and here. Explore more of Chip Cove here:

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