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In a seldom-told part of the Chinook treaty story is the role of Robert Shortess (1797-1878). Shortess, an early Oregon pioneer, played a significant role in the acquisition of Oregon Territory, the formation of the Oregon state government, and in the formation of the region’s relationship w…

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From 1818 to 1846, the vast expanse of Oregon Country encompassed the area that now forms part of the present-day Canadian province of British Columbia, all of the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming. When the inhabitants of Oregon Country formed a P…

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Officially, Pacific City existed from March 22, 1849 to Feb. 26, 1852. It’s difficult to identify where it was located, no matter how you might go about it. Now, 180-some years later, there are few, if any, physical clues left. Not even a real-time, “politically” correct address is likely to help.

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Perhaps the pandemic is causing personal introspection, or perhaps, an intermittent stroll down memory lane. Maybe at my age, this is a good thing: the old noggin is still tracking, still reme…

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In a seldom-told part of the Chinook treaty story is the role of Robert Shortess (1797-1878). Shortess, an early Oregon pioneer, played a significant role in the acquisition of Oregon Territor…

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From 1818 to 1846, the vast expanse of Oregon Country encompassed the area that now forms part of the present-day Canadian province of British Columbia, all of the U.S. states of Oregon, Washi…

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The first agreement between the Lower Chinooks and Washington Hall was signed in 1848 by Hall and by two Chinook chiefs: Elwahco (also known as Elwah or Ellewa) who was the son of Comcomly’s s…

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World War I, what was known at the time as the Great War, began in Europe in 1914. In spring of 1917 the United States entered that conflict, and in November 1918 it concluded. As soldiers ret…

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West Coast news clippings from the 1880s and 1890s are loaded with nuggets that bring an adventurous — and sometimes dangerous — era to life.

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In the late 1980s, when I was proofreader for the Chinook Observer, the editor assigned me to construct a time-line of highlights from back issues. It was to be printed in a 1989 Observer issu…

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Officially, Pacific City existed from March 22, 1849 to Feb. 26, 1852. It’s difficult to identify where it was located, no matter how you might go about it. Now, 180-some years later, there ar…

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Although Pacific County’s first city was over almost before it had begun, an astonishing number of the area’s earliest and most influential settlers were introduced to the region as residents …

spotlight
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During the past 10 years I have had the unique privilege of talking every day with World War II veterans and their families. Needless to say, I have been told many, many stories. But of all th…

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RAYMOND — Jerry Bowman begins each tour by eagerly creating a perspective for what life was like in the late 1800s. He proceeds to draws visitors into the time period with the infectious manne…

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Amateur historians and cocktail fanatics alike can raise a rather ironic glass to toast one of America’s most romanticized law enforcement flops. This fall marks the 100th anniversary of the N…

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The village of Chinook on the shore of the Columbia River at its mouth grew up around the wealth of salmon that once swarmed upriver. Since the days before written memory, the first peoples of…

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ILWACO — The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is hosting the exhibit “Coming Home: WWI and the American Legion Centennial.” This special exhibition opens on Saturday, May 18, with an Armed For…

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In the 1970s, I befriended a Clatskanie man, Russel “Lee” Hall, who had many old-coot yarns about the natural and supernatural things around us. Being a former actor, singer and comedian, he c…

top story
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Just now, it’s raining axe handles out there; it’s the weekend of Fisher Poets in Astoria, and I’ve been reading the annual report of the U.S. Life Saving Service from the 1880s. Those Cape Di…

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RAYMOND — The Amish are famous for their low-tech lifestyles and elegant designs, and now a Pacific County museum has a wonderful example of one of their most iconic objects.

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9:30-10 a.m. each day: Meet in the Cafe Room for coffee, tea and “Considering Our History” with Sydney Stevens. Each week Stevens will lead the group in a discussion about the challenges and s…