History Home Life History

‘This Nest of Dangers’
Wheat Fleet took region’s cash crop to market
‘This Nest of Dangers’ Wheat Fleet took region’s cash crop to market

Those of us who enjoy Joanne Rideout’s “Ship Report” on KMUN radio know that wheat is one of the most frequent cargoes filling those freighters we watch sailing outbound. That’s been the case since the 1860s.

The...

Featured Stories

Our Grands and Our Greats
Searching for her Grand-père’s past
Our Grands and Our Greats Searching for her Grand-père’s past
By Sydney Stevens
This Nest of Dangers: 
Fog, the Davidson inshore current, and those who live ashore …
This Nest of Dangers: Fog, the Davidson inshore current, and those who live ashore …

The ship was the Abercorn, bound from England for Portland, Oregon, full of iron rails for a regional railroad. Only a few years old, Glasgow-built of iron, she was a solid vessel, and not small. Her gross tonnage was 1,341, her length 238-1/2 feet,...

Historical magazine highlights Beeswax shipwreck off Nehalem Spit
Historical magazine highlights Beeswax shipwreck off Nehalem Spit
A local mystery lives on
This Nest of Dangers: Building the South Jetty
This Nest of Dangers: Building the South Jetty
Marvel of 19th century engineering began transformation of Columbia River commerce
Friends of the Columbia River Gateway honored for lighthouse efforts
Friends of the Columbia River Gateway honored for lighthouse efforts

Celebrate the 120th anniversary of North Head Lighthouse
Celebrate the 120th anniversary of North Head Lighthouse

Cape D — Washington State Parks and Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse are inviting the public to help celebrate the 120th anniversary of the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco. This year, the lighthouse will be...

This Nest of Dangers: Prelude to the South Jetty
This Nest of Dangers: Prelude to the South Jetty
Growth in shipping brings pressure to improve river entryway
Writer’s Notebook: Walking in the path of glory and ruination
Writer’s Notebook: Walking in the path of glory and ruination
Lewis and Clark National Park is a great historical stage
‘This Nest of Dangers’: 
May 1880: How legends come to be
‘This Nest of Dangers’: May 1880: How legends come to be
Nineteen to 25 died in infamous storm, not 200 or 350
‘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...

Marketplace