Cassiar Cannery featured in Western Mariner September 2010

COURTESY OF WESTERN MARINER.  Please click on the link below the story to see a pdf version of the article from the magazine.


Does this landscape (top photo) look familiar?  Hint ‘A Letter from Home’.  At the end of the road, past Port Edward on Inverness Passage at the mouth of the Skeena River, Justine Crawford and Mark Bell (top photo) bought the Cassiar Cannery four years ago.  They live in the far house; half the orange and the red house (all are former cannery manager’s homes) are now renovated as rentals.  The orange’s other and the white cabin are coming along and, when Western Mariner visited in late July, the green house was being jacked up for a new foundation.  Recycled timbers and logs salvaged off the the river doorstep are milled for furniture, floors and structural timbers and lumber.  Oldtimers with associations with Cassiar (for example Lloyd Kristmanson from Osland who drove many piles for Cassiar and the other Skeena canneries) have responded to the energy being expended by Crawford and Bell with support and hands-on know-how.  The photo (above) shows the expansive wharf structure, its pilings and underpinnings still in overall good shape in the mainly fresh water.  To the right is the boat shop erected in the 1960s with an adjacent synchro-lift and to the left is the oldest remaining building at Cassiar, the net loft dating back to the 1920s.  Mark’s Poseidon Marine (see In the Shipyards in this issue) is presently located in the former general store (to the left middle photo) with plans to eventually move to the boat shop.  In front of the former freezer building (erected in 1979) are some goodies dropped of by Bert and Harold Campbell of Welcome Harbour, Porcher Island.  The cannery became fully operational in 1904 with the Cassiar Packing Co and operated into the early 1980s.  For more history of Cassiar see and as for the scene in the photo, check page 13 in this issue.  Mrs Amor de Cosmos has been using a similar photo with her column going back to the premier issue of Western Fish & Seafood which was started up alongside Western Mariner in March 2003.

Cassiar Cannery featured in Western Mariner – September 2010