The settlement of Loring, located 25 miles north of Ketchikan on Naha Bay, was predicted to become Revillagigedo Island’s major city. Loring’s early 1875 settlement operated a saltery owned by the Salmon Packing & Fur Co. in 1883 and had established a post office by 1885. A much larger cannery was created later with upwards of 40 houses and temporary dwellings for seasonal workers. The houses were a fair distance from the cannery but connected by boardwalks, lined with wildflowers and berry bush tendrils. Schooners arrived at the docks and filled their ships with canned salmon bound for California, while Ketchikan’s successful cannery did not come about until 1900.

The early residents of Loring smoked fish, made jelly, and used elderberries (laughing berries) for wine. George Collins, an early resident, had brought special balsam tree saplings; these trees still bloom today and attract many types of birds. A variety of berries and apples were put up for the winter; children collected gumboots and sea cucumbers and helped their mothers with canning. The noises and activities of the past are now silent.

Today, Loring is mostly a ghost town. The cannery closed in 1930 and the large buildings began to disappear, slowly dismantled to be used for other purposes. The forest has reclaimed the cannery site, but the hillside graveyard lives in the hearts who still reside at Loring. Adding to Loring’s demise, Ketchikan had the advantage of a potentially superior harbor.

photo of public float at eastern end of Naha Bay

Boaters who want to visit Loring can tie up on the outside of the breakwater at Loring’s community docks at no charge. The dock is very exposed to adverse weather conditions so it’s best to visit only in settled weather. In 1889, the side-paddle steamer Ancon departed the dock loaded with 14,000 cases of canned salmon and was caught by the wind and drifted onto a shoal; her hull was punctured and her back broken. Workers removed the cases of salmon and rescued passengers; the rusting remains of her boilers can still be seen at low tide.

Adequate protection from the weather can be found at the eastern end of Naha Bay, offering anchorage behind Dogfish Island, and moorage at the public float (room for about 3-4 boats) near Roosevelt Lagoon. A trail leads along the lagoon and to several lakes upstream. If the float near the lagoon is full, you can anchor in the rather deep water off the floats.

Trail and Trail Sign at Roosevelt Lagoon, Naha Bay

Naha Bay is one of those places yet to be discovered by most recreational boaters, yet offers a unique experience.