11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Kake Cannery

Year Listed: 2013
Location: Kake, Alaska
Threat: Deterioration

Kake Cannery
Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HAER, Reproduction number HAER AK,22-KAKE,2--37 (CT)

Significance

Located in a remote village in Southeast Alaska, the Kake Cannery is one of the only canneries in the United States listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is a large complex comprised of several wooden buildings situated on land held in trust by the Organized Village of Kake (OVK), a federally recognized Native American tribe. Kake Cannery played a key role in the development of the Alaskan salmon-canning industry during the first half of the 20th century. The cannery attracted workers from many foreign countries, and was notable for its multi-ethnic—yet segregated—workforce.

Now, the departure of the canning industry has left Kake Cannery to an uncertain future. Two of the three main cannery buildings have recently collapsed due to high winds and heavy snow loads, and other buildings in the complex are deteriorating rapidly. Immediate action is needed to stabilize and reinforce the structural systems of the existing buildings.