The Story of Hoonah

The Tlingit people settled Hoonah two hundred years ago when they were forced to abandon their original village because of advancing glaciers. Translated, it means, “Where the north wind doesn’t blow”.

The Tlingit – always respectful of their environment -- lived a subsistence life, surviving off the bountiful waters and lush forest.  Many also became very accomplished as weavers, carvers and artists -- developing the unique stylized designs  you see throughout Tlingit communities today.

Fur traders arrived on Hoonah shores in the 1880’s. Schools, churches, and stores were soon to follow.

In 1912, the Hoonah Packing Company built the first cannery in the area. Ownership traded hands several times before the Icy Strait Salmon Company purchased the property in 1932. When a fire destroyed the town on June 14, 1944, many residents made the cannery their home while the city was rebuilt.

In the mid 1990’s the Huna Totem Corporation bought the cannery and created what you see today.

Currently 85% of the staff at ISP is local Tlingit from Hoonah.

 

Icy Strait Point was originally built as a Salmon Cannery and has been an important part of the community for many years serving many functions. Below is a timeline explaining the many incarnations of these historic buildings.

1912 Hoonah Packing Company Opens.
1914 Hoonah Packing Company cans an amazing 2,367,072 cans of Salmon.
1933 Hoonah Packing Company transfers ownership to Pacific American Fisheries.
1934 Pacific American Fisheries transfers ownership to Peter J Andrae and finally to Icy Strait Salmon Company.
1944 The City of Hoonah burned on June 14h. Many of Hoonah’s residents made the Icy Strait Salmon Cannery their home until Hoonah was rebuilt.
1953 Last year that Icy Strait Salmon Company operated as a full fledged canning operation. From this point until 1999 the property functioned as a maintenance and support facility for the seine boat fishing fleet.
1954 Fish caught by the Icy Strait Canning Company fleet were transported by Icy Strait fish tenders to Pelican, Alaska and canned by the Pelican Packing Company.
1956 Ownership transferred from Icy Strait Salmon Company to a partnership composed of the Pelican Packing Company, Pelican Cold Storage and the Alaska Transportation Company.
1959 Purchased by the Alaska Transportation Company.
1962 Purchased by Excursion Inlet Packing Company (Wards Cove).
1996 Cannery was purchased by the current owners Huna Totem Corporation.
1999 This was the last year the cannery served as a maintenance and support facility for the seine boat fishing fleet.
2001 July 8th Groundbreaking ceremony for Icy Strait Point, Americas only private cruise ship destination.
2004 May 23rd Celebrity Mercury makes the inaugural call at Icy Strait Point!
2004 32 ships visited.
2005 36 Ships visit Icy Strait Point.
2006 71 Ships visit Icy Strait Point.
2007 80 Ships visit Icy Strait Point,
2007 May 14th ZipRider! the worlds largest zipline opens
2008 58 Ships visit Icy Strait Point.
2009 69 Ships visit Icy Strait Point.
2010 64 Ships visit Icy Strait Point.

2011 73 Ships are scheduled to visit Icy Strait Point.

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