In 1878, the 62 acre property where the lodge is located used to house a saltery, which later turned into a cannery. Before they had invented the canning process, all they could do was salt the fish down in barrels and ship them to consumers. A few years later, it was converted into a cannery. At one time, Loring and Ketchikan had a similar population. Loring actually had a post office before Ketchikan did.
The property’s survey number is USS #8, which means it was the eighth property to be surveyed in Alaska.
When the cannery was abandoned in 1930, area residents of Ketchikan slowly and methodically, “borrowed” pieces of the cannery until very little remained. You can still see boilers from the property on the beach, remnants in the forest, as well as old pilings on the beach. There is even a graveyard on the property with headstones dating back to 1895.
We have many pictures and artifacts from the cannery inside the lodge. The entire loft is a mini-museum of the cannery and that era.
A Hollywood movie was made at the site of the cannery in the ’30s and can be purchased at Amazon.com. It is called The Silver Horde You can also read a couple of interesting articles about Loring and the Stack Family.
In 1889, the Ancon wrecked not more than a couple hundred yards from the Saltery. It was captured in death by an American painter Albert Bierstadt, who was a passenger of the ship at the time. The painting is now on display at the Museum of Fine arts in Boston. You can still see parts of the boiler from the lodge at low tide.
You can learn more about the wreck from this article by Dave Kiffer.