[Home]Astoria, Oregon

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The town of Astoria, Oregon sits near the mouth of the [Columbia river]? in northwest Oregon. It has served as a port of entry for hundreds of years and is the trading center for the lower Columbia basin.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1805-6 at [Fort Clatsop]?, a small log structure south and west of modern day Astoria. The expedition had hoped a ship would come by to take them back east, but instead endured a tortuous winter of rain and cold, and returned east the way they came. Today the fort has been recreated and is now a national monument.

Several years later, in 1811, John Jacob Astor's [Pacific Fur Company]? founded Fort Astoria as its primary fur-trading post in the Northwest, and in fact the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. It was an extremely important post for American exploration of the continent and was influential in helping establish American claims to the land. The fort and fur trade was sold to the British in 1813, and while the fort was restored to the U.S. in 1818, control of the fur trade would remain under the British until American pioneers following the [Oregon Trail]? began filtering into the port town in the mid-1840's.

As the Oregon territory grew and became increasingly more settled, Astoria likewise grew as an ocean/river port. In 1876 it was legally incorporated. It attracted a host of Scandinavian settlers, and the area still bosts a high concentration of descendents of these original settlers.

In addition to Fort Clatsop, another popular point of interest includes the [Astoria Column]?, a tower 38 m high built atop the hill above the town, with an inner circular staircase allowing visitors to climb to see a breathtaking view of the town, the surrounding lands, and the mighty Columbia flowing into the Pacific. The column was built in 1926 to commemorate the region's early history by the Astor family.

Eclipsed by the city of Portland and other ports further inland along the Columbia, Astoria's economy centered around fishing, fish processing, and lumber, but this has declined since the 1970s. Today, tourism and light manufacturing are the main economic activities.

The movie Goonies? was filmed in Astoria.

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Last edited September 11, 2001 3:08 am by Larry Sanger (diff)