The scenic and historic town of Astoria, Oregon, as seen from the top of the Astoria Column. The bridge to the right crosses the Columbia River to Washington.
Astoria was founded in 1811, just a few years after Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-06 in an encampment at nearby Fort Clatsop. The town holds the claim of being the country's oldest permanent settlement west of the Rockies. The Fort Clatsop encampment is memorialized by a replica complete with rustic furnishings, hides, utensils, and even period-costumed guides.
The rugged spirit of the pioneer is evidenced throughout the town, not only in the numerous Lewis and Clark-themed landmarks, businesses and sculptures, but also in the story of the town itself.
Nestled along the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria has historically been the site of a booming fishing and canning industry, and still supports a sizeable fishing business today. The town has also been witness to the busy daily shipping traffic headed up and down the treacherous Columbia River waterway, and out to the Columbia Bar, where the mighty discharge of the Columbia meets the vast swells of the Pacific Ocean, creating some of the most dangerous sailing waters in the world.
During WWII and the Korean War, Astoria hosted another sizeable industry, shipbuilding. The Astoria Marine Construction Company, which before the war had specialized in commercial and leisure craft, became the country's first producer of 165-foot AMS minesweepers. These boats were made entirely of wood, and were non-magnetic to avoid destruction by enemy mines.
For more information on the history and current life of Astoria, visit the this website.