On the North Side of North Bentinck Arm, about 3 km northwest of the Bella Coola Harbour, is the historic Tallheo Cannery. Depending on the source you read, Tallheo Cannery started either in 1905 or 1916 and was owned for the better part of the last century by the Canadian Fishing Company Ltd. or Canfisco. It's primary purpose was to process sockeye, coho, pink, chum and chinook salmon into tin cans for shipment around the world. The BC coast was covered in canneries in the early 1900's with places like Rivers Inlet just to the South of Bella Coola had more than 15 operating at one time.
It was an era that saw many of our coastal communities get established around the presence of canneries and the commercial fishing industry that supported them, an entire way of life for generations of people who either fished or worked in canneries. After WW II, the death knell for most of our coastal canneries started when packer boats got bigger and faster and most importantly the ice making technology improved making if far more efficient to ice fish down and take them to Prince Rupert and Vancouver where large efficient canneries with big work forces were available. Some time in the late 40's or early 50's Tallheo became just transfer point and a net storage loft for fishermen.
A number of the older buildings have disappeared at Tallheo but it still has a beautiful collection of classic early buildings and is run as a bed and breakfast. Grizzly
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