Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Elfin Cove Post office/ School building
The inner harbor and tidal grid

Low tide at the outer harbor area

The dock leading to the outer float

The old XIP buying scow

It's taken awhile to get around to doing this post. I've been out in  pursuit of the wily and I might add, elusive Coho Salmon. Actually elusive might be too generous of a description- they've been almost non-existent on the inside this year so far. Anyway, here is part two of the Elfin Cove post. The top picture shows the Elfin Cove Post office/ school building. I'm not sure how that works. I would imagine that they have the mail sorting going on in a different part of the building than the school. I'm not sure how many kids go to school there, but I suspect that there wouldn't be too many. I spoke to a former teacher from Hoonah who moved out to Pelican, the next  closest town to Elfin Cove. He said that there were nine students in that school. I would guess that you would get to know your class mates quite well.  Aside from the lodges and gift shops, I'm not sure what the other residents do to make a living. I guess someone has to be the postmaster, though it would seem that sorting the mail would only take about fifteen minutes a day. I know that there was one person some years ago who used to smoke salmon to sell, and they may have processed the fish that the tourists caught. I'm sure that there are still at least a few folks who fish for a living. At one time there was a small hardware store and I vaguely remember hearing about Mary's Hook Shop some years ago. I guess Mary must have sold fishing gear to the troll fleet. Years ago Radar Marine was a fixture in town. It was run by a rather eccentric fellow named Dave who sold and repaired almost anything electrical involving boats. He had worked as a missile technician on the East coast before coming to the cove. He did quite a booming business. Someone always needed some work done on their auto-pilot or radar or loran or radio. He received multiple calls on the radio requesting his expertise. He moved back some years ago to be with his mother as I recall. In any small town, no matter how small, there is always someone who knows how to keep the generators going or to fix a diesel engine or weld a pipe or fix the satellite for internet. I'm amazed that these Mr. Fixits are always available. In Elfin Cove the guy's name is Jim Lewis. I don't know if he's still around or not. I could be wrong, but I think he owned a green and black troller called the Sandy Andy. I always liked that boat- mainly because it was part green. For a number of years there was a buying scow tied to the float that was operated by Excursion Inlet Packing. I understand that the people of town kicked out XIP for reasons unknown, and set up their own buying station. For many years the packer St. Jude anchored in a protected spot on the back side of Georges Island and bought fish. Dan, the guy who owned the packer retired and the St. Jude doesn't come there any more either. So many things have changed. There is a small store along side of the boardwalk that leads to the inner harbor. It used to be called Elfin General Store; I'm not sure if it still is or not. They sell fishing gear and booze as well as an an assortment of other groceries. There is also a laundry house. There's a couple showers located there but you have to buy tokens from the store to make them work. I imagine a laundry/ shower would be a pretty lucrative business in a town that caters to a transient fishing audience. Anyway, that's about what I know about the place. It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Ten years on a wilderness farm is enough isolation for me. Guess that's all I have for now. Things are winding down for this years fishing season, so hopefully soon I'll  be able to post on a more regular basis. It will just be a matter of having something to write about. See ya next time.


  1. Nice 6 a.m. read. You get to an age where you realize the many changes around you seem more memory than reality. It's a matter of perspective found leaning against the harbormaster's office wall, on park benches, supported at times by polished canes and bifocals. The near and far vision has nothing to do with eyesight.

  2. Hi Rene
    It seems the changes are coming more rapidly than I remember, or maybe I never took the time to realize that they were occuring around me, I was too busy to notice. What I've experienced with change, is that it seems to be something I seldom care for.It's uncomfortable and seems to profit others- hence the push for change by those wanting something that they can't get with the current cicumstances. How much change would we experience if we were all looking out for the other person's well being? Some things we just have to accept- the bifocals and sore muscles. It doesn't make it any more easy to take though. Thanks for commenting, you're always so profound in your thought.

  3. Elfin Cove is one place I never went...Lewis, however...guessin he was a relation to Travis Lewis...the guy who was Jen and Lance's best man years ago....anyways..that's the only thing that rang a bell!

  4. Nobody kicked out XIP. They left.