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The first Settlers

Long before the community of Loring existed, Naha Bay and the area was a summer fish camp to several different tribes. It has been said "Naha country holds a lore, one can feel the presence of the past" Though violent, the area was known to fierce battles between these early tribes. Today we remember the past but look to the peaceful future for the sake of the next generation.

photograph courtesy of Tongass Historical Museum

Loring, Alaska established in 1885

Picture for a moment a bustling frontier village.  Imagine red cannery buildings lined up on the tide flats and wharves big enough to dock 4 masted schooners.  See people from many ethnic backgrounds working along side one another.   Cleaning and canning salmon around the clock for export to the lower 48.  Combine the abundant resource of salmon and labor and you get one of most productive canneries in the Alaskan territory.   From the late 19th century until the late 1920's, much commerce was made in this tucked away corner of Southeast Alaska.  Nowadays it may seem impossible for visitors to imagine this historical side of Loring.   The stillness of a moss covered forest has since taken back the noisy bunkhouses and cookhouses.   Barnacles have encrusted over the few remaining beach pilings.   Time has dramatically changed Loring, but one can still picture it's glorious past.

Wreck of the Ancon

In August of 1889 the steamer "Ancon", loaded up with passengers and canned salmon, departed for a long trip south.   In the early morning hours of the day of it's departure, the Ancon's mooring lines were untied and let go too early.   Consequentially, the Ancon drifted onto a reef just a few yards off shore.   No deaths or injuries occured, just many inconvenienced travelers had to spend a few days in Loring.   This piece of Loring history would have forever gone unnoticed had it not been for a world famous painter.   Traveling on the Ancon was a man by the name Albert Bierstadt.   Bierstadt, an American/German artist well known for large panoramic paintings of the the American west,  had just completed a summer long tour of the Alaskan Territory. Mr. Beirstadt was on his way south when the Ancon met it's fate on the Loring beach.   Taking advantage of the moment like any painter would, Albert Bierstadt took out his canvas and paints and sketched the "Wreck of the Ancon".   Presently this painting hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston MA.   The Ancon remains a part of Loring's historic waterfront.  Visible at low tides, even to this day, are the the steam ship's rusted boilers.