National Historic Landmarks, St. Paul Island (Cont.)

Kench House

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1930. [Wood] frame building with horizontal clapboard siding. Building was lengthened in the 1930s. Originally the kench house, then drying shed (for drying seal skins); presently used for storage. Needs structural repairs (Faulkner 1986).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

According to Bureau of Fisheries Field Assistant Ward Bower (1923, 83), the old salt house (kench) was torn down in 1921 and construction began during that year on a new kench house. Two kench houses would be within the village with this additional structure.

Boxing Shed/Barreling Shed

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in the 1920s. Balloon framed, one and one-half story, horizontal clapboard siding; same design and materials as Blubbering House and Kench House. Building was lengthened in the 1930s. Originally a kench house, later a barrel shed, presently storage. Needs structural repairs (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of long white building from a northeasterly view.
Boxing Shed, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).
Photo of long white building from a southwesterly view.
Boxing Shed, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

1930. Footings were laid for an extension to the salt house with intentions of also using it to barrel skins (Bower 1931, 76). NOAA razed the barreling shed in 2000.

Fouke Bunkhouse

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1932. Large [wood] frame building with horizontal siding of similar design and materials to other boom period buildings. Originally a bunkhouse for sealing assistants (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of three-story building.
Fouke Bunkhouse (St. Paul Historic American Buildings Survey 2005).
Photo of several buildings along snowy street.
Fouke Bunkhouse, right (NARA).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

Excavation for The Fouke Bunkhouse foundation began in 1931, and the 32 ft. x 54 ft. building was completed in 1933. This bunkhouse was intended to house thirty-six “sealing assistants or blubberers from the States.” The basement had a wash room, a large room for recreation, a kitchen, dining room, and cook’s quarters. The main floor contained six sleeping quarters, a living room, and six shower baths and toilets (Bower 1931, 76; Bower 1933, 58; Bower 1934, 293).

Machine Shop

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1938. Two-story, wood frame with large bow-strung trusses. A ramp built of rock leads to second floor storage. Originally machine shop, then fire department, a non-compatible new addition joined the Machine Shop and Equipment Garage in the 1980s. The new addition, which was neither the same material, color, nor style as the two historic buildings it joins, did not destroy the integrity of the two because of their obvious contrast and large size. (Faulkner 1986)

Photo of the machine shop, a geen building with a curved roof.
Machine Shop, after demolition of the connector building, October 11, 2006 (NOAA).
Photo of a northeasterly view of southwest elevation of the machine shop, a geen building with a curved roof.
Machine Shop, October 1, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

1938–1939. Construction on a new Machine Shop that “will house all machinery and tools required in a first-class repair shop” began in 1938 and was completed in 1939 (Bower 1940, 148; Bower 1941, 161). An addition constructed in the early 1970's, later known as the Machine Shop Annex, became severely corroded and it was demolished in 2005 by NOAA during the environmental restoration project.

Equipment Garage

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in the 1930s. Single-story wood frame building with large bow-string trusses (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of low blue building surrounded by small boats and heavy equipment.
Equipment Garage, after demolition of the connector building, September 27, 2006 (NOAA).
Photo of southwesterly view of low blue building with rounded top.
Equipment Garage, October 1, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

The Equipment Garage (a.k.a., Elephant Hut, Community Garage, and Municipal Garage) was completed in 1931 (Bower 1932, 76). The structure was built to house trucks, tractors, and other motive equipment. The concrete floor was laid in the 54 ft. x 100 ft. structure in 1933 (Bower 1934, 294). NOAA razed the building in 2007 at the behest of local interests.

Small Frame Structure

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

May possibly be one of the houses constructed pre-1918 (Faulkner 1986).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

This structure was located where Haul Road is currently, but the building no longer exists (NOAA 2007). No photographs are available.

Paint Shop

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in the 1930s. Wood frame shed with horizontal clapboard siding, sawbuck doors, similar to Boxing Shed and Kench House. Presently used for the storage of paint and other highly flammable materials. Sand drifts form around and in this building (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of northeasterly view of the paint shop, a weathered white building.
Paint Shop, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).
Photo of southeasterly view of the paint shop, a weathered white building.
Paint Shop, October 2, 1985 (NMML Photo Library).

Six Car Garage

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in the 1930s. Single-story wood frame with horizontal clapboard siding. Presently abandoned with sand drifts around and inside (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of a six-car garage, a long wooden building.
Six-car Garage (St. Paul Historic American Buildings Survey 2005).

By-Products Plant

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Built in 1924. Large frame structure with horizontal clapboard siding. Remodeled interior and exterior in the 1930s; abandoned, reopened, abandoned again, and remodeled again; the interior was remodeled as recently as the 1970s. Presently abandoned, it is in need of structural repairs. By-products (products incidental to the fur-seal industry) produced at one time or another on Saint Paul include: fox food, dog team food, mink food, crab bait, fertilizer, and oil. Between 1965 and 1975 a mink farmer removed old boilers to install experimental freezing equipment. The exterior retains the historic character of the 1930 seal processing building (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of building.
By-Products Plant (NARA).
Photo of building with piles of lumber nearby.
By-Products Plant (NARA).
Photo of building with surrounding hills.
By-Products Plant (NMML Photo Library).
Diagram of By-products plant.
Layout of the By-Products Plant (click for larger image).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

The seal carcass by-products plant was constructed on St. Paul Island in 1918. The structure was a two-story wood frame, 55 x 75 ft., atop a concrete foundation (Bower 1919, 83). The building was razed by local interests in 1987.

Aleut Laborers' Housing

National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form text:

Reflecting the company town nature of the community, houses on Saint Paul come in three types: (I) 1920s through 1930s, one or one-half story frame with horizontal wood siding, arctic entrance to one side, and side cellars; (II) one and one-half story concrete with arctic entrance and side cellars; (III) 1945–1950s. Larger one and one-half story cement with green asphalt siding. Some houses have small (10 ft. x 14 ft.) outbuildings which were originally washhouses (1939); presently saunas or storage. (Faulkner 1986).

Photo of a collection of small houses on one side of a dirt road with a building under construction on the other side of the road.
Construction of Aleut Laborers' Housing (NARA).
Photo of white two story Aleut Laborers House.
Aleut Laborers House (NARA).

Supplemental information provided by NOAA:

Aleut Inhabitants–1918. Three dwellings for the Natives were nearly completed in 1918. Storm windows were installed in all of the Native dwellings for the first time (Bower 1919, 79).

1925–27. In 1925, construction of twelve dwellings with six-inch concrete walls reinforced with steel bars was completed for the Native community on St. Paul Island (Bower 1926, 142). In 1926, ten of the dwellings became occupied and the other two would be occupied in 1927. Nine of the dwellings contained four rooms each, and three have five rooms each. Also during 1926, construction began on another ten dwellings (Bower 1927, 306). Eight houses were scheduled for occupancy during the winter of 1927. Construction began on twelve additional concrete houses during 1927 for completion during the 1927-28 winter. The record is not clear, but it appears that the twelve houses were four-room structures (Bower 1928, 146).

1928. One four-room house and one three-room concrete house were constructed in 1928, along with three wood frame houses on concrete foundations (Bower 1929, 298).

1939. Construction began in the fall of 1939 on four new wood frame houses. One house had five rooms and each of the others had three. All had the same floor plan as the three-room Native houses previously built; the roof pitch was raised to permit the addition of two rooms on the second floor. Three frame houses built in 1918 were moved a short distance to bring them in line with other Native dwellings and they were placed upon new concrete foundations (Bower 1941, 161).

1946–48. One new house was completed for the Native residents.

1948. Construction began on two new Native homes.

Whites Residences

1948. Construction began on one new employee residence.