The Way We Were

In the Sentinel 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.

May 26, 1921

That the Alaska Sanitary Packing Co. cannery in Wrangell will run this season is now a certainty, a cablegram having been received from O.A. Brown yesterday to that effect. It is not known how long the run will be, but it is expected that the season will be rather short. Last year’s salmon harvest in southern Southeast was down more than one-third from 1918, with even lower returns expected this year. The cannery was built in 1918.

May 24, 1946

Ray Day, deputy collector of Customs in Wrangell, received the following wire this week from the International Pacific Halibut Commission: “Area 2 halibut landings to May 18, inclusive, are 9.6 million pounds compared to 7.3 million pounds at the same time last year.” The catch limit this year in Area 2 is 24.5 million pounds. Area 2 includes waters through Southeast Alaska, British Columbia and the U.S. West Coast.

May 28, 1971

The state ferry Malaspina pulled into Wrangell 16 hours late Monday after playing the major role in rescuing passengers off the ill-fated tour ship Meteor. The Malaspina was steaming north from Seattle in predawn darkness Saturday with 113 passengers aboard when she received a mayday distress call from the Meteor at 3:45 a.m. The Meteor was afire and had dead and injured aboard. The latest count from Vancouver, where the blackened Meteor finally tied up, was 21 crew members dead and 11 missing. All of the passengers were transferred to the Malaspina and none were hurt. Capt. Harold Payne of the Malaspina maneuvered the ferry to within 100 yards of the blazing Meteor, which had put its passengers in lifeboats and sent them to the Malaspina. The ferry lowered its boats into the water so that passengers could step into them, and the ferry’s lifeboats were then hoisted back up to the Malaspina’s deck.

May 30, 1996

The City of Wrangell officially took over the old Wrangell Institute buildings and land Tuesday morning during a short ceremony. Alaska’s U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski handed over the deed to the old school, located on a prime piece of property overlooking Shoemaker Bay. Situated on 134 acres, the former Nore homestead was sold to the city, which later gave it to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to build a boarding school. The school opened in 1932 and closed in 1973. The Cook Inlet Region Inc. Native corporation obtained the land from the federal government in 1978, but later found asbestos in the buildings and spent about $600,000 cleaning up the hazardous material before deciding to relinquish the property. Wrangell Mayor Doug Roberts said the city is “real excited about the potential that the site is going to have.”


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