The natural, well protected harbor has long been shelter for fishing boats caught in the stormy waters of Clarence Strait. White settlers began living year-round at Meyers Chuck by the late 1800s. In 1916, a cannery was established at Union Bay. From 1916 to 1945, local fishermen sold their catch to Union Bay Cannery, which in turn, sold in bulk to Japan. In the 1920s, a saltery mild-cured king salmon. A floating clam cannery and a herring reduction plant were also present in the area during this time. A post office, store, machine shop, barber shop, bakery and bar developed to support residents. By 1939, 107 residents lived year-round in Meyers Chuck. When fish runs began to decline in the 1940s, many people left the community to join the armed forces or to work at war-time production jobs in the Lower 48. The Union Bay cannery burned down in 1947. Lonesome Pete, Greasy Gus, and other colorful characters remained in Meyers Chuck over the years. Land was patented to local residents between 1965 and 69, and the community was withdrawn from the Tongass National Forest. In 1977, five residents donated funds to establish a fish hatchery. A school was constructed in 1983, but is no longer staffed. After two major fires in the summer of 1983, residents pooled their resources to establish a fund to purchase fire-fighting equipment. A State land disposal sale was offered in 1986.
To Community Histories Index Alaska DCCED Community Database Online
History and map graphic used with permission from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development