Key station for West Coast  immigrants gets a fresh look in revised history of Knappton Cove

<p>Submitted photo cutline in text</p>

    KNAPPTON — For a nifty gift for history buffs, consider the newly updated edition of “The Columbia River’s ‘Ellis Island’: The Story Of Knappton Cove,” by Nancy Bell Anderson, president of the board of the nonprofit Knappton Cove Heritage Center, and edited by her daughter, Heather Bell Henry.

    “After 10 years, Heather said we need to bring the book up to date,” Nancy said. You can buy it at Lucy’s Books, the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Clatsop County Heritage Museum.

    The new edition has lots of photos, personal reminiscences of when Nancy’s parents used the property as a summer fishing camp, as well as a detailed history of the area, and the Eureka & Epicure Packing Company that preceded the quarantine station.

    The intriguing history of the station itself — which, incidentally, wound up on the Washington side of the river because the Astorians wanted no part of it — makes for some interesting reading, too. Established in 1899, the station was joined by a large disinfecting building on a wharf in the river in 1900, followed in 1912 by the hospital, or pesthouse.

    The book includes advice from a public health bulletin to ships’ captains to avoid being quarantined: No rats, no plague; no mosquitoes, no yellow fever; vaccinate, and no smallpox; and no lice, no typhus.

    “When a person catches any one of these diseases even his friends consider him loathsome (and so he is),” the bulletin warns, “and the first thing they say is, ‘Take him at once to the pesthouse.’”

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