Alaska is located on the Southeast Alaskan island of Revillagigedo (Revilla
for short). Surrounded by the extensive waterways of the Inland Passage
and seemingly unending mountain ranges, Ketchikan is rightfully called
Alaska's "First City".
Average annual rainfall in Ketchikan is a whopping
130 inches, and snowfall averages 32 inches annually (although it rarely
stays around for longer than a day or two). Average summer temperatures
range from 46 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit but can reach as high as 75 to 80
degrees Fahrenheit too. The average winter temperature
range from 29 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the population of Ketchikan is officially 14,000
people, the summer time population may swell to as many as 20,000
people on any given day. Ketchikan is a popular summertime cruise ship destination
and may receive as many as six large ships each day.
Traditionally the local economy has been fueled by
the timber and fishing industries. But, as both of these time-honored
traditions have decreased in significance, tourism has increased. The
Ketchikan of today is a modern city with many amenities including a regional
hospital, shopping mall, theater, bowling alley and many fine restaurants.
Alaska General Seafoods' Ketchikan facility is rich
with history. With its roots in the turn-of -the-century halibut fishery,
the Ketchikan plant has witnessed the evolution of an industry.
The Ketchikan site was first owned by the New England
Fish Co. (NEFCO). NEFCO purchased the site in 1906 for the purpose of
building a freezer operation, and to service their growing halibut fleet.
With east coast fish stocks declining, NEFCO was increasingly looking
to the Pacific coast for continued prosperity. The next 60 years saw
the fishing industry change its focus from halibut to salmon, and it
wasn't long before NEFCO had one of the largest salmon canneries in Alaska.
In 1965 a fire ripped through the NEFCO site destroying most of the buildings.
The only structures to escape the blaze were the freezer plant, the company
store, and the superintendent's house. In 1980 NEFCO declared bankruptcy.
In 1990 Canadian Fishing Co. (Canfisco) leased the
facility and began operating the freezer plant under the name of Kanaway
Seafoods. In 1993 Canfisco purchased the facility and began construction
of a 5 line cannery. A new bunkhouse and messhall were added that year
The Ketchikan plant began operating under the name of Alaska General
Processors in 1994. In 1999 the assets of Kanaway Seafoods, Nelbro Packing
Co. and Alaska General Processors were combined to form Alaska General