Rock Slide Destroys Ketchikan's Tatsuda's Grocery Store - P.O.W. Report

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Rock Slide Destroys Ketchikan's Tatsuda's Grocery Store

Early Thursday morning a rock slide came down and destroyed Tatsuda's IGA.

Photo Courtesy: Andrew Hendrickson. View from the back of the store. Reports say rocks and trees on the roof fell into the meat department. Pressure from the roof shattered the windows in the liquor department

Dear friends,

We have experienced a tragedy.

A huge rock slide came down in the middle of the night and destroyed much of our building.

Needless to say, we will be closed, indefinitely.

Bill and I are grateful this happened in the middle of the night when no one was in the store so no one was injured.

Please pray for our family, our team, and our friends at Alaska Liquor as we process what has happened.

Katherine Tatsuda


At 12:56am today KFD was dispatched to a report of a fire alarm activation at Tatsuda's IGA. Upon arrival crews discovered a landslide had impacted the building causing significant structural damage, including the sprinkler system piping. The store was closed and the building was unoccupied when the slide occurred. Firefighters were able to quickly shut-off the utilities and limit any further damage to the structure or its contents.

While we are thankful no one was injured, our hearts are broken over the loss for the Tatsuda's and their employees.

Photo courtesy of KFD

Photo courtesy of KFD

In 2016 Tatsuda's celebrated it's 100 years in business:

The Tatsudas made their first home in Ketchikan on Stedman Street in what was called “Indian Town.” Although Ketchikan was not officially segregated in those days, it was clear to most of the residents that white population lived to the north of Ketchikan Creek while all others lived south. In those days, the only grocery stores in Ketchikan were located in Downtown to the north of the creek and residents of Indian town had a lengthy walk. That gave Sen Tatsuda an idea.

“She started buying extra, hauling that home too and selling to her neighbors,” Bill Tatsuda Jr. said. “That was the beginning of the Tatsuda Family grocery business.”

In 1916, Sen and Jimmie opened up “Jimmie’s Grocery” at 415 Stedman Street, across Stedman from Inman Street. In addition to providing a service to an area of town that did not have a grocery, the Tatsudas also gained a loyal following by extending credit to Natives at a time when no other local store was doing so.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Indian town and the neighboring Creek Street were among the most active parts of the community, particularly since Prohibition was completely ignored in the area and the sporting houses drew an active clientele. [Read the rest here.]

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