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North Pacific Cannery’s history is unique and is comparable to few if any of the other canneries on the west coast of North America. North Pacific Canning Company was formed on November 28, 1888 and had almost 90 years continuous salmon production and fish processing until ending in the late 1970s.
In 1891, the company accounted for more than one quarter of British Columbia’s total salmon pack, and was the foremost packer of sockeye salmon in the world. The history of NPC is also unique because of its almost continuous ownership by a single firm for over 76 years; this is remarkable in an industry marked by acquisitions, mergers, bankruptcies and restructuring. The Site continued to operate, not as a cannery but as a maintenance and reduction facility for the fishing fleet in Prince Rupert until 1981, when it closed for fishing operations. The year 1985 saw a group of local historians band together and ultimately save the site from demolition, paving the way for the museum it is today.