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By 1918, most of the canneries, including Van Camp Seafood (now Chicken of the Sea, whose cannery in San Pedro closed in 2001) and the American Tuna Company, were fully operational. Sailboats, with their dirty canvases rolled down, float side by side with gasoline launches.
But “I used to walk in that sand all the time.” Fish Harbor children often frolicked on nearby Brighton Beach among the hulking old mansions left behind from Terminal Island’s Victorian heyday as a resort, or on the storied Deadman’s Island.
The glinting silver fish come up in the meshes on the end of a long handle, shine momentarily in the sunlight and then disappear into the elevator and are carried up, sideways into the cannery… The crews of fishermen were primarily Japanese born (Issei) or American citizens whose parents were Japanese nationals (Nisei).
Beginning in the early 1900s, Japanese fishermen were actively recruited by big canneries on the West Coast because of their skill at catching sardines and the increasingly popular albacore tuna. practiced an intricate fishing technique using a stout bamboo pole, strong line, and barbless hook.
Since everything was so close, cars were unnecessary.
Sand was everywhere, even in the houses, so shoes were often optional.