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A guide to the Alaska fishing and fishermen photographs, 1899-1959
P03-005 (SAFR 23369)  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: Alaska fishing and fishermen photographs
    Date: 1899-1959
    Date (bulk): 1900-1930
    Identifier/Call Number: P03-005 (SAFR 23369)
    Creator: Unknown
    Physical Description: 20 items.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The Alaska fishing and fishermen photographs, 1899-1959, bulk 1900-1930, (SAFR 23369, P03-005) are primarily comprised of photographs of Alaska Packers Association vessels and fishermen involved in the cannery trade, that were included in the article "The Great Star Fleet" written by Harold D. Huycke. The collection has been processed to the Series level with Items listed in the scope note, and is open for use.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Each unique photographic image or printers' page proof has been assigned an Item number. When there are multiple physical forms of the same Item (e.g. two prints of the same photograph), they have been given the same Item number since the image is the same.
    Description Notes: Dates refer to when the original photograph was taken. All of the photographic prints in this collection are copies that were made much later than when the original photograph was taken, and the dates of these reproductions were noted when known.
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P03-005 (SAFR 23369), Alaska fishing and fishermen photographs, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    SAFR-01783 was transferred from the J. Porter Shaw Library of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park to the Historic Documents Department in 2003. When it was part of the library collection, it had the call number "up SH.467.A4." It is unknown who compiled this collection or when; old library catalog records were not available for consultation. The original enclosure of the materials had "Alaska fishing and fishermen. Collection of photographs of fishing in Alaska. The life of the fishermen, and some of the vessels making the Alaska trip in the early 1900's" typed on the front. Almost all of the materials in this collection were used for the publication of "The Great Star Fleet" written by Harold D. Huycke.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    Alaska Packers Association History:
    The Alaska Packers Association (APA) was the best-known of several firms engaged in the operation of salmon canneries in southwest Alaska, operating from the 1890s until the 1960s. Consequently, it was involved in the development of fishing activities, land and labor rights, and conservation techniques which are still influential today.
    The company was founded in 1893 by Henry Fortmann, as a result of the consolidation of twenty-five of the thirty-three floundering Alaska salmon cannery companies. APA came to be the predominant company in the fishing industry of the Pacific Northwest for nearly seventy years. APA operations were supervised and directed from central offices in San Francisco, California, with regional headquarters based in Seattle, Washington. In the early 1960s, under the corporate leadership of Del Monte Corporation, the regional offices were moved to Semiahmoo, Washington (Steele).
    APA first chartered large sailing vessels to transport supplies, fishermen, and cannery workers north each spring; each fall they would return with the canned salmon. The canneries were operated seasonally, serving as bases for fleets of open sailing and rowing boats from which the fish were caught (HAER). Wooden sailing ships built in New England had been employed initially, but as of 1900, APA was beginning to favor the more easily maintained British-built iron and steel sailing ships that were made available by the annexation of Hawaii. Due to the seasonal nature of the work, these ships spent very little time at sea. Up to the early 1930s, APA was noted in particular for its "Star Fleet," of up to thirty large sailing ships whose name started with "Star," which sailed between San Francisco and Alaska. One of these vessels from the Star Fleet, BALCLUTHA, ex STAR OF ALASKA, ex PACIFIC QUEEN, has been restored and since 1954, has been a part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park's historic fleet.
    Written by M. Crawford and Amy Croft, 2013.


    • Historic American Engineering Record. After 1968. Ship BALCLUTHA, 2905 Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA. Accessed on April 26, 2013. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ca1493/
    • Steele, Ruth. 2002. Guide to the Alaska Packers Association records 1841-1989. Western Washington University Heritage Resources. Accessed on April 26, 2013. http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv77299
    • Balclutha History. San Francisco Maritime National Park Service. Accessed April 26, 2013. http://www.nps.gov/safr/historyculture/balclutha-history.htm
    Harold D. Huycke biography:
    Captain Harold D. Huycke, Jr. (1922-2007) spent about 45 years in the shipping industry, at sea as mate and master, and ashore as a cargo supervisor and later a marine surveyor. In 1957, he was employed by the state of California to prepare, man and deliver C.A. THAYER (built 1895; schooner, 3m) from Puget Sound, Washington, to San Francisco, California, and she is now one of the San Francisco National Historical Park's historic vessels moored at Hyde Street Pier. Beginning in 1973, he became an independent marine surveyor with a specialty in wooden vessels, including wooden hulled U.S. Navy minesweepers. He retired from his surveying practice in 1991.
    Huycke was also a maritime historian of the Pacific Coast and a research associate of the San Francisco Maritime Museum for 57 years. "With John Lyman, Karl Kortum, and John Kemble he was part of the first generation of maritime historians on the West Coast. Huycke has written and contributed to several books on maritime history. His largest published project was the book, "To Santa Rosalia: Further and Back," a detailed history of a dozen German sailing vessels detained in a remote port in Mexico during World War I. He researched and wrote extensively on commercial sailing vessels including the Star Fleet of the Alaska Packers Association, steam schooners, Liberty and Victory ships, fishing barges and maritime businesses. Huycke located and collected primary source material and corresponded with hundreds of sailors, captains, collectors, and historians. He served as mentor and editor to many individuals, helping them to write and publish stories that would otherwise would not have been told. He conducted oral histories to preserve the stories of seafaring men and the vessels that they sailed on" (Hull).
    Written by Amy Croft. For a full biography of Huycke, see the finding aid for the Harold D. Huycke Collection, (SAFR 22224, HDC1600) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8542mw9


    • The Herald Everett, Washington. Captain Harold D. Huycke Jr. Obituary. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/heraldnet/obituary.aspx?n=harold-d-huycke&pid=86546972 last accessed 6/13/2012
    • Hull, David. End of an Era for West Coast Maritime History: Harold Huycke: 1922-2007, An Appreciation. Relative Bearings newsletter, no. 6 (April 2007), p. 2-3.
    • Huycke, Harold D. "To Santa Rosalia: Further and Back." Newport News, Va: Mariners Museum, 1970. Print. Biography on inside cover jacket.

    Collection Scope and Content

    The Alaska fishing and fishermen photographs, 1899-1959, bulk 1900-1930, (SAFR 23369, P03-005) are primarily comprised of photographs of Alaska Packers Association vessels and fishermen involved in the cannery trade, that were included in the article "The Great Star Fleet" written by Harold D. Huycke. The collection has been processed to the Series level with Items listed in the scope note, and is open for use.
    The collection contains photographs and printers' page proofs, 1899-1959. There are 15 unique photographic images (in 16 physical forms) and two pages of printer's page proofs (in 4 physical forms: 2 copies of each page).
    "The Great Star Fleet" was originally written by Harold Huycke in 1953, and then re-written in 1958 for publication in "Ships and Seas." The article was published in the February/March 1960 issue of "Yachting" and reprinted in the "Sea Letter," a publication of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, at an unknown date. The article appears in "Yachting" and the "Sea Letter" in two parts: Part I (untitled) and Part II: Fate Writes the Final Chapter in the History of These Famous Vessels. It is unknown if there were subsequent parts to the article. This collection does not contain all of the photographs used in this article.
    The photographs show vessels from the Alaska Packers Association's Star Fleet in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and in and around Alaskan fishing waters; views of crew on board these vessels working and at leisure as well as crew accommodations; and gill net fishing boats at the Northwestern Fisheries Cannery in Alaska. Locations of photographs outside of the San Francisco Bay Area include Menshikott Point; Naknek, Alaska; Nushagak, Alaska; Nushagak River, Bristol Bay, Bering Sea, Alaska; Unimak Pass, between the Bering and North Pacific Seas; and San Diego, California.

    Collection Arrangement

    Items are arranged into one Series due to the small size of the collection. Photographs are listed first: they are arranged in the order they appear in the publication, with two photographs not published in the article at the end. Printer's page proofs follow, arranged in the order that they appear in the publication.

    Related Materials

    Related photograph collection: Axel Widerstrom photographs of Alaska Packers Association ships, 1919-1921. SFMNHP, (SAFR 22053, P77-040). Contains cellulose nitrate film negatives of the Alaska Packers Association ships STAR OF FRANCE and STAR OF HOLLAND. Some of the photographs in the Widerstrom collection (P77-040) can also be found in this collection (P03-005); more specific details about this have been described in the Item descriptions in the Series level scope note.
    Related manuscript collection: Harold D. Huycke collection, 1868-2007. SFMNHP, (SAFR 22224, HDC 1600). Personal papers and photographs of Harold D. Huycke; includes Series 4.06, File 006: "The Great Star Fleet" manuscript and proof materials, as well as numerous other File Units regarding Alaska Packers Association vessels.
    Researchers should note that there are many other books and collections with materials related to the Alaska fishing trade and the Alaska Packers Association, some written by Harold D. Huycke, in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. They can search the Park's web catalog for more information.
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Pacific salmon fishing
    Salmon canning industry--Alaska--History
    Salmon canning industry--Pacific Coast (U.S.)
    Shipping--Pacific Coast (North America)--History--Pictorial works
    Coastwise shipping--Pacific Coast (U.S.)
    Cargo handling
    Merchant ships--United States--History--20th century
    Cargo ships
    Merchant ships
    Marine photography
    Huycke, Harold D.
    Alaska Packers Association
    Star of Finland (built 1899; bark, 3m)
    Star of France (built 1877; ship, 3m)
    Star of Greenland (built 1892; bark, 4m)
    Star of Holland (built 1885; bark, 3m)
    Star of Poland (built 1901; bark, 4m)
    Harvester (bark)
    San Francisco Bay (Calif.)
    San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
    Pacific Coast (Calif.)
    Pacific Coast (Alaska)
    Black-and-white prints (photographs)
    Printers' proofs