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Writer’s Notebook: Walking in the path of glory and ruination
MATT WINTERS/For the Astorian
Writer’s Notebook: Walking in the path of glory and ruination
Lewis and Clark National Park is a great historical stage

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‘This Nest of Dangers’ — Waterfront news: Odds and ends of interesting stuff
‘This Nest of Dangers’ — Waterfront news: Odds and ends of interesting stuff

One of the enjoyable things about reading The Astorian from the 1880s is seeing what was considered news and what we researchers can figure out about the events of the day.

For instance, in November of 1881 the Astorian reports, “The...

Carriage Museum adds horse-drawn road grader
Carriage Museum adds horse-drawn road grader

RAYMOND — The Northwest Carriage Museum recently marked the arrival of its 51st horse-drawn vehicle, a road grader dating from the 1890s.

Manufactured by the Western Wheeled Scraper Co. in Aurora, Illinois, scrapers like this were used...

‘This Nest of Dangers’: 
S.O.S. — Federal help arrives on our deadly shore
‘This Nest of Dangers’: S.O.S. — Federal help arrives on our deadly shore

By the second half of the 19th century in the Oregon country, most business was well established up-river in Portland. Astoria had lost its late, brief battle to supplant the inland city as the regional shipping center.

At the same time, the...

‘This Nest of Dangers’: 
Great Republic — 
Giant steamship slams onto Sand Island, making national news
‘This Nest of Dangers’: Great Republic — Giant steamship slams onto Sand Island, making national news

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s Great Republic was a huge side-wheel masterpiece built on Long Island, New York, in 1866. At the time, she was the largest wooden steamship “ever built in the United States [378 feet long by 47 feet...

Raymond museum adds beautiful Mitchell wagon
Raymond museum adds beautiful Mitchell wagon

RAYMOND — The Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond has announced the arrival of a 1892 Mitchell Farm Wagon. The Mitchell is in original condition, including paint, pin striping and seller logo. The museum is the third owner of this historic...

‘This Nest of Dangers’: 
Astorian speaks up, boosters for maritime economy
‘This Nest of Dangers’: Astorian speaks up, boosters for maritime economy

From its inauguration, Astoria’s first newspaper, the Tri-Weekly Astorian, itemized the ship traffic coming and going in the Columbia. In August 1873, it reported:

“Movement of Vessels. … On the way to this...

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum presents ‘Flashback: Remembering the 60s’
Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum presents ‘Flashback: Remembering the 60s’
CPHM Remembering the 60s
This Nest of Dangers: 
Help!
This Nest of Dangers: Help!

New York-born Joel W. Munson came west in 1853, first to Portland where he got work as a carpenter helping to build a lumber mill down the Columbia River. He next moved to Astoria for several years, where he built houses, and then fetched up in...

This Nest of Dangers: 
Pilotless, the Desdemona sails into legend
This Nest of Dangers: Pilotless, the Desdemona sails into legend

Three-quarters of the way through the 1850s, the entrance and exit of the noted entrance to the West’s great river was assisted by bar pilots, buoys, and a lighthouse. Three months after Cape Disappointment light was lit, in the dark of the...

Razor clam phenomenon explained by September lecture
Razor clam phenomenon explained by September lecture
Museum - Clam Digging Exhibit
‘This Nest of Dangers’: A Columbia lighthouse … but what about a lens?
‘This Nest of Dangers’: A Columbia lighthouse … but what about a lens?

Journalists who traveled out west wrote stories that found their way to newspapers back home. One piece in The New York Tribune of August 1855 featured observations about our part of the world:

“…Astoria, where I write, has not...

Pacific Northwest eclipses illuminate solar system’s mysteries
Pacific Northwest eclipses illuminate solar system’s mysteries

After sunrise on July 18, 1860, the sky west of the mouth of the Columbia turned back to night, as if a cavern was opening between this and a darker world. Soon, all around, there was an “unearthy ghastly glow.”

The 498 whites in...

Web-exclusive: Editor shares second bunch of rare salmon label images
Web-exclusive: Editor shares second bunch of rare salmon label images

LONG BEACH — There once were dozens of salmon canneries from Hammond to Clifton and Ilwaco to Eagle Cliff. They were key to the Columbia estuary’s early economy and settlement.

Often the only tangible things that remain are the can...

Web-only feature: Salmon labels highlight key aspects of local history
Web-only feature: Salmon labels highlight key aspects of local history

LONG BEACH — There once were dozens of salmon canneries from Hammond to Clifton and Ilwaco to Eagle Cliff. They were key to the Columbia estuary’s early economy and settlement.

Often the only tangible things that remain are the can...

This Nest of Dangers: All hell breaks loose
This Nest of Dangers: All hell breaks loose

About the time Congress was reading Lt. Howison’s recommendations of 1848 — those calling for a lighthouse, lighted and unlighted buoys, bar pilots, and a steam towing tug (read: non-wind-powered vessel) to ease the chaos at the Columbia...

Peninsula pioneer gets his due
Peninsula pioneer gets his due
Jonathan Stout Story by Joan Mann
‘This Nest of Dangers’: Filling in the blanks
‘This Nest of Dangers’: Filling in the blanks
Early mapmakers unveiled the mysterious Northwest coast
‘This Nest of Dangers’
‘This Nest of Dangers’
Pioneer journalism still serves West Coast historians
Writer’s Notebook: Local innocence collided with World War I’s harsh realities
Writer’s Notebook: Local innocence collided with World War I’s harsh realities

When the U.S. entered World War I a century ago this month, local news was dominated by — what else? — the spring salmon season.

One of the many fascinations of running a newspaper is the easy ability to travel in time by diving...

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