At one time, massive fish canneries dominated the West Coast. Built to exploit the then untapped resources of huge salmon runs on the West Coast’s rivers, canneries were a powerful force that shaped the history of the coast and employed thousands of fisherman and employees. Many factors caused a shifting tide in the industry from once-upon-a-time mass production to today’s boutique production environment. What has remained are select products that are in such demand that they are hard to keep on retail shelves.
The first salmon cannery on the Columbia River opened for business in 1866 providing an affordable food source for the working class. Large canneries would ultimately provide fish year-round to the urban-dwelling middle class. Due to ample availability, modernized production processes and improved transportation through railroad lines, canned salmon could be found stacked on the shelves of every grocer and in the cabinets of every kitchen. Read the complete article here on Northwest Travel and Life magazine.