Eigil and Robert Buschmann family history scrapbook, 1837-1964

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Buschmann family
Title
Eigil and Robert Buschmann family history scrapbook
Dates
1837-1964 (inclusive)
Quantity
.21 cubic feet (1 box)
Collection Number
5812 (Accession No. 5812-001)
Summary
The Peter Buschmann family immigrated to Washington state in 1891 from Aure, Norway to seek fishing and salmon packing industry opportunities in southeast Alaska. This collection contains photocopies of the Buschmann family scrapbook, dating from 1837 to 1964. The scrapbook contains photographs, postcards, and other material, with annotations on family history.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Languages
English

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

The Peter Buschmann family immigrated to Washington state in 1891 from Aure, Norway to seek fishing and salmon packing industry opportunities in southeast Alaska. The Buschmann family initially lived in Tacoma, Port Townsend, Fairhaven, and later Seattle, while spending the fishing seasons in Alaska. Peter Buschmann is noted as founding Petersburg, “Little Norway,” Alaska by settling 40 acres of land where he built a sawmill and cannery. By 1902, Peter Buschmann owned and operated several cannery operations under the corporate names: the Quadra Packing Company, Icy Straits Packing Company, Petersburg Packing Company, and Chatham Straits Packing Company. After ten years of financial success, Peter sold his Alaska interests to the Pacific Packing and Navigation Co.. He was paid in common stock and bonds that became worthless just a year later when Pacific Packing and Navigation Co. went bankrupt. Peter Buschmann, overwhelmed with profit loss and responsibility for encouraging others to invest in his venture, took his own life in 1903, leaving his wife Petra and children Christian, Erik, Elisabeth, Sophie, Solveig, Eigil, Trygve, Ruth and Leif.

Peter's son Eigil Buschmann became the general manager of the Northwestern Fisheries Company, who purchased the bankrupt Pacific Packing and Navigation Co.. In 1922, Eigil and his partner Haakon Friele started the Nakat Packing Corporation, a subsidiary of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. To begin operations, Eigil sold his personally owned cannery site at Hidden Inlet to the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co.. Eigil installed a row of generators to provide power to the cannery, secondary to his dream of hydro-generation from a large nearby stream. In 1924, Eigil built the cannery at Waterfall on Meares Passage, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island and it became the largest cannery in the world of its time. In 1941, 256,000 cases of salmon were processed at the Waterfall cannery alone. Eigil Buschmann's and Haakon Friele's Nakat Packing Corporation owned and operated six canneries in southeast Alaska with 800 employees, producing on average 250,000-300,000 cases of salmon annually, and 650,000 cases on peak years. Cans were largely distributed to the A & P (Atlantic & Pacific) national grocery store chain. Eigil Buschmann continued as Nakat Packing Corporation's general superintendent for the remainder of his career until retiring in 1954, at age 68.

Eigil Buschmann married Nora (Tilda E. N.) Trogstad of Tacoma, Washington in 1912. Together they raised 5 children, Robert Eigil, b. 1913, Ruth Dorothy, b. 1914, Frederick Peter, b. 1916, Richard Christie, b. 1919, and Norman Edward, b. 1924. Eigil’s family spent canning seasons at Waterfall, Alaska in the general superintendant's home. His sons learned to run seine boats and trap tenders for the cannery. Frederick Buschmann was in a boating accident in August of 1938 and lost at sea at age 22. The family residence, a palatial home, farm, and stables in Zenith, Washington, faced the western sky above Puget Sound near Des Moines. Daughter Ruth Buschmann attended St. Nicholas on Capitol Hill, an all girl high school in Seattle.

Eigil Buschmann's daughter Ruth married Robert McKee and raised their children in Vancouver, B.C.. At the time of Eigil's passing on August 4, 1963, he was survived by his wife Nora, sons Robert E. and Richard C. of Seattle, daughter Ruth McKee of Vancouver, B.C., brothers August and Dr. T. W. Buschmann, and sisters Sophie Kielland and Ruth Buschmann, and 11 grandchildren. Eigil Buschmann was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Elks Club, Nile Temple of the Mason, Seattle Historical Society, Norwegian Commercial Club and the Alaska-Yukon Pioneers.

Eigil Buschmann's son Robert Eigil Buschmann attended Highline High School and settled in the Capitol Hill neighborhood at Interlaken in Seattle after graduating from the Hill Military Academy and the University of Washington. At age 17, Robert became one of the youngest pilots to fly solo at Boeing Field. He married Helen Hewitt, also a graduate from the University of Washington in 1938. In 1940, Robert was an assistant bookkeeper in the fishing industry. Later, he was a partner in the West Coast Salmon Co. of Seattle and Alaska. Robert had daughters Christie Helen Hammond and Mary Lee Dennison with wife Helen Agnes Hewitt, and daughters Karen Udlock and Catherine Hartwell with his second wife Louise Helen Edmunds. He was an expert skier and mountaineer. Robert passed on April 18, 2013.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photocopies of the Buschmann family scrapbook, dating from 1837 to 1964. The scrapbook contains photographs, postcards, and other material, with annotations on family history. There are captions with information about many of the photographs.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)

Family Names

  • Buschmann family--Archives