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

photo by: Library of Congress

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Kake Cannery

  • Location: Kake, AK

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.

“One of the only canneries in the United States recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Kake Cannery should be preserved as a testament to an industry that has long been central to Alaska’s economy.”

Stephanie Meeks

“Kake Cannery tells a little-known story about the salmon-canning industry, the segregated multi-ethnic workforce that toiled in the canneries, and the role of organized labor in improving working conditions,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “One of the only canneries in the United States recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Kake Cannery should be preserved as a testament to an industry that has long been central to Alaska’s economy.”

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.

The Kake Cannery was included on the Trust's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2013.

Announcing the 2018 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List