As with many unique historical sites, North Pacific Cannery (NPC) in Port Edward, just south of Prince Rupert, was saved from demolition in 1985 because a group of historians banded together and took on the task.
Now NPC is a National Historic Site and visitors flock to the museum to witness first hand what life was like at the longest running cannery in B.C. history.
While in Prince Rupert for a Girl Guide area gathering, Debbie Fee and three other guiders from Quesnel were part of an excursion to the historic site while in the area.
The cannery company was formed in 1888 by a consortium of three business men who purchased the land for $32 for 183 acres and the cannery was constructed. Almost 90 years of continuous salmon production and fish processing followed, ending in the late 1970s. Ownership passed to the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company in 1891 along with several other west coast canneries where the primary product canned was sockeye salmon. Canning operations closed in 1968 and the assets were sold to Canfisco of Vancouver, B.C. and continued to operate, not as a cannery but as a maintenance and reduction facility for the fishing fleet in Prince Rupert until 1981. Four years later, the group of historians saved the facility, paving the way for the museum it is today.
Fascinated by the history and preservation of the site, the guiders explored every aspect of the cannery and recommend this historic site as a must-see for anyone travelling to Prince Rupert. The site is 22 miles from Prince Rupert, but easily accessible and well worth the trip.