Outdoors
OUTDOORS Capital City Weekly Pillar Bay, one of the bays indenting Kuiu Island off Chatham Strait, was a busy place for many years. In 1972, Arlene Pickrell and son Randi and I explored the remains of a Fidalgo Island Packing Company facility, as reported in a recent Capital City Weekly. We spent the day wandering through the dilapidated buildings from a cannery operation. Then we camped in the abandoned bunkhouse used for the herring reduction plant workers. The next morning we headed out to see what we could find relating to that operation that produced herring oil and fish meal. Edible, well-cured, fat herring were in demand in Europe and the East Coast. Another market was for pickled herring. FIP started the operation in 1926 and closed it in 1931. It operated spasmodically until the end of the 1948 season.

Pillar Bay's industry grew by reduction

The remains of the Pillar Bay herring reduction plant are seen in 1972
Pat Roppel Photo
The remains of the Pillar Bay herring reduction plant are seen in 1972
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