Thursday 4 August 2011

Seattle to San Francisco [U.S. Route 101] - Log #03# (Astoria, Oregon)

U.S. Highway 101, is a north–south U.S. highway that runs through the states of Washington,California and Oregon on the West Pacidic Coast of the United States.

I started 101 from Astoria, Oregon as this little city is the oldest American city on the west coast and the story of its founding is one of the amazing chapters in all of early American history.

The 7 Km long Astoria – Megler Bridge connecting Oregon to neighboring Washington across mighty river Columbia.

Astoria was born of the great vision and boundless ambition of John Astor (born Walldorf, Germany) who needed a place between New York and Canton where his ships could acquire furs. His choice was the Columbia River.

John Astor's  American Fur Company founded Fort Astoria at the site in 1811.

Fort George's premises nowdays host a Fort George Micro Brewery and Pub.

Fort George Brewery Tank.

Astoria attracted a host of immigrants beginning in the late-19th century. Scandinavian settlers, primarily Finns, and Chinese soon became significant parts of the population. 

The Finns mostly lived in Uniontown, near the present-day end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and took fishing jobs. the Chinese tended to do cannery work, and usually lived either downtown or in bunkhouses near the canneries.

Uniontown neighborhood.


The Scandinavians still organize their Scandinavian Parade every year during Solstice day.

Scandinavian Parade 1911. 

Josephson's smoked fish pub, proudly manifesting the flags of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark like many other shops in Astoria.

Captain George Flavel's House an example of Queen Anne architecture and completed in 1886. Captain George Flavel made his fortune as a river bar pilot.

A Light-vessel or Light-boat is a ship which acts as a lighthouse. 

They are used in waters that are too deep or otherwise unsuitable for lighthouse construction.

The Columbia River has a long history of shipwrecks. Its bar, where freshwater and saltwater meet, is one of the most difficult crossings of any river in the world and its mouth is dubbed the Graveyard of the Pacific.

More than 200 shipwrecks are known to have occurred near the mouth of the Columbia and the near-shore areas. 

To this day it is not uncommon for ships to wait a week or longer for the bar to calm enough to allow a safe crossing.

Soundtrack: The Band & Friends, I Shall Be Released