Seid Chee

Anacortes on Fidalgo Island in Washington state had a rapidly growing canning industry that started in 1893 and then the last cannery closed there in 1999. Both salmon and cod were processed in the canneries on the island.  At the peak of the industry, there were 11 canneries there. Seid Chee was a Chinese labor contractor and hired laborers to work in the salmon canneries in Anacortes in the early 1900s. He also supervised them as well. There are records that at one point, he did live in Portland, Oregon. It is very interesting to see an actual Chinese labor … Continue reading Seid Chee

July 4th Celebration

The July 4th holiday is just around the corner and I couldn’t help but to reflect back to what it was like at the cannery in Alitak. The beginning of the salmon cannery season starts to ramp up by the end of June in Alaska. As more and more fish come in from the bay, the working hours become longer and longer. The cannery workers look forward to this particular day because it is a nice break from the standard routine, at least during lunch time. The kitchen staff and baker at the cannery in Alitak would go all out … Continue reading July 4th Celebration

Alaska State Museum Exhibit

While working in the Alaskan salmon cannery, I would always look forward to the several “mug-ups” we had throughout the day. These mug-ups were what we called our coffee breaks. The morning break at 9am served fresh baked pastries and cakes and then again after lunch at 3pm. Then there was one last break at 8 or 9pm which offered leftovers from the meals that day. I remember all those delicious blueberry doughnuts and coffee cake! These breaks were a way for us to recharge for another busy shift and to socialize with our fellow co-workers. Working here showed me … Continue reading Alaska State Museum Exhibit

Video Interview with Fred Wong

There will be an upcoming video interview with my father Fred Wong about his experiences working at the Alitak salmon cannery where he spent most of his 54 summers as the foreman. He will be discussing how he got started working up there during his summers off from teaching along with the living conditions, the various cannery duties of the workers, and changes that he’s seen in his 54 summers up there. In the meantime, please check out his personal story that’s posted on the website along with my own experiences as one of his daughters working in the same … Continue reading Video Interview with Fred Wong

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

There is a hidden gem in San Francisco that many people may not know about, tourists and locals alike. There is not a lot of information on their website. It is at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is part of the National Park System. This park is near Fisherman’s Wharf on the pier. At the Hyde Street Pier, there are historic steam and sailing vessels along with other maritime exhibits. San Francisco has been a major West Coast city since the 1800s, played a major part in maritime exploration, was a major port city at the time, … Continue reading San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park