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The first Settlers

Long before the community of Loring existed, the area known as "Naha Bay" was originally settled by Tlingit natives.       The Tlingit word "Naha" was once interpretive to mean "tribe of distant lakes".  These many distant lakes are the head waters for the Naha river, which flows into Naha Bay. It has been said "Naha country holds a special lore, one can feel the presence of the past".

"Weaving Baskets"- photographer Case & Draper 1906

photograph courtesy of Tongass Historical Museum



Loring, Alaska established in 1883

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 cargo, was departing Loring 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 week in Loring waiting for next southbound ship.   This piece of Loring history could 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 still remains a part of Loring's historic waterfront.  Visible at low tides, even to this day, are the the steam ship's rusted boilers.

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