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TThe History of Port Bailey, Alaska

    Port Bailey is located in Dry Spruce Bay near Kupreanof Strait on the northwest coast of Kodiak Island. Due to large stocks of sockeye (red), pink (humpy), chum (keta) and coho (silver) salmon as well as halibut and black cod (sablefish), Port Bailey was established as a community in 1912. In 1936, Kadiak Fisheries began construction of a cannery, which was completed in the spring of 1938. The cannery was named in honor of company vice-president F. Howard Bailey. After the Port Bailey plant was completed the company closed their plants in Kodiak, Shearwater Bay and Carmel and relinquished a lease with Shelikof Packing Company at Zachar Bay.

    In 1948 a fire destroyed most of the facility. The company decided to rebuild on the same site and reopened the cannery in 1949. The rebuilt Port Bailey cannery was the first major salmon cannery to be built following World War II. Columbia-Wards Fisheries purchased the Port Bailey plant in 1968, and millions of pounds of canned salmon were produced each year until the plant was closed in the late 1990s.

    As of 2013, a multi-year liquidation of all the cannery equipment is still going on.

This image shows the Port Bailey area as of September 22, 2004 from Google Earth - click on it to go to an interactive map of the area.

Port Bailey, Alaska