Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Astoria, Oregon

June 4-7, 2012- We were staying at Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington, just across the bridge over the Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon. Cape Disappointment got its name in 1788 when English Explorer Capt. John Meares, in seeking the Columbia River, missed his passage over the bar and in his discouragement named the nearby headland ‘Cape Disappointment’. The State Park Campground was nice, and we were, again, just a short walk down to the beach where Jade could run free.

The weather, however, left much to be desired. We had to get used to rain blowing up, quickly, each afternoon…..catching us out on the beach if we were not careful! It rained off and on each night, but cleared up during the day.

We spent one day touring Astoria.


Astoria is a town of about 10,000 that sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific ocean. Spain, England, France and Russia all competed for this area, but 3 events led the US to make its decisive claim to Astoria based on the argument that the US had explored this area by land and water and set up commerce in this area. In 1792, Robert Gray sailing his ship the “Columbia” , discovered the outlet of the Columbia River. In 1805, Lewis and Clark traveled down the Columbia River to the Pacific on their ‘Voyage of Discovery’, and in 1813, John Jacob Astor’s fur trading business came to Astoria.


These three events are depicted on the Astoria Column, a 125 foot monument that sits on top of a hill, affording a view over all of Astoria.


We climbed the 164 steps to the top lookout. What a view!


This is the Young’s River, which flows into the Columbia. The waterways in this area provided the backbone of the economy, in fishing, as well as shipping.


We visited the Columbia River Maritime Museum which explained the role the River played in this area. When Astoria was formed, fur trading was not the only industry. The waters were rich in Salmon. Astoria became the Salmon canning capital of the world, shipping salmon to the US up the Columbia River, and to other countries by ships on the Pacific.

We also visited the Flavel House, the home of Captain George Flavel, an experienced bar pilot on the Columbia River (due to the treacherousness of this river, a special bar pilot was necessary to ensure safe passage). Capt. Flavel  expanded his business enterprises until who was one of Astoria’s most influential citizens in the late 1800’s.


This Queen Anne style home was built in 1886 as his retirement home.



I love the architecture, the antiques, and you’ve got to LOVE this bathtub!


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