Guide to the Washington D. Lacabanne papers
Collection number: HMC-0670.
Creator: Lacabanne, Washington D.
Title: Washington D. Lacabanne papers.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Letters and photographs of a Nushagak cannery employee.
Washington Lacabanne was born in San Francisco, California in 1903. He worked as a bookkeeper at a salmon cannery in Nushagak Bay, Alaska in the summers of 1930 and 1931. In the summer of 1930, he sailed to and from Alaska on the Meth Nelson and the Star of Alaska (currently the Balclutha), which were operated by the Alaska Packers’ Association. Lacabanne served as a radio operator in transit and his nick name was “Sparks”. In 1931, he traveled to Alaska on the Delerof and returned on another steam ship in the Alaska Packers’ fleet. He married Florence Loeffert in the 1930’s and moved to Minneapolis to complete his PhD in Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where he also taught and researched for the rest of his life. Washington Lacabanne died in 1999.
The collection consists of letters and photographs of Washington Lacabanne. Two of the letters were written by Washington Lacabanne to his fiancé Florence Loeffert, in Berkeley, California. And one of the letters was written by Loeffert. In the first letter, Lacabanne writes from Clarks Point, Alaska, on June 21st. He mentions meeting with Father Hubbard of Santa Clara University, who had been in Alaska studying volcanoes and glaciers, and was staying overnight in Nushagak in the superintendent’s house at the cannery. Lacabanne wrote the second letter aboard the Launch Heron, on a trip up the Nushagak River, on June 24th. In the letter, he writes about meeting the mail boat, receiving his grade card from school, the beginning of the fishing season, and his return home to California later that summer. Florence Loeffert wrote her letter to Lacabanne from Tahoe, Nevada, on July 4th. In the letter, she writes of Fourth of July celebrations in Tahoe, work, friends, returning to Berkeley in early August, and meeting Lacabanne upon his return to California from Alaska.
The photographs in the collection were taken in the summer of 1931 with a Voightlander IBSOR DRP camera. The photographs depict: men, women, and children; fish on boats, various types of boats on the water; men and cars by docks; dogs and birds; and men sorting fish on deck and boat mechanisms.
Arrangement: The letters in this collection are arranged chronologically, and the photographs are arranged in original order.
Digitized copies: This collection has been digitized, and selected photographs can be accessed on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Access restrictions: Photographic negatives were separated from this collection for preservation purposes and are not accessible to users, however digital copies are available. Please ask Archives and Special Collections for further information.
Rights note: Archives and Special Collections has copyright to materials in this collection created by Washington D. Lacabanne and Florence Loeffert. However, some materials in this collection may not have been created by Loeffert or Lacabanne, which are subject to copyright restrictions.
Preferred citation: Washington D. Lacabanne papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Acquisition note: The letters in this collection were purchased via Internet auction in 2004. The photographs were donated in 2018 by Andre Lacabanne, Washington Lacabanne’s son. A deed of gift was signed by Andre Lacabanne at the time of donation.
Processing information: This collection was initially described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2004. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2015. Additional material was added and the collection further described by Veronica Denison and Anna Leinweber in 2018 to reflect the addition.