Astoria, a town situated at the mouth of the Columbia river, marks the start of the Oregon Coast. Although it is now a quaint fishing town, it has history of being one of the most significant settlements in the West.

John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson had the original intention of turning it into a trading port and creating a transcontinental settlement. One group of men traveled by sea while the other went by land. Their harrowing journey across the country followed Lewis and Clark’s route to the Pacific Northwest. Astor established the first settlement there and laid the foundation for the Oregon Trail. According to Peter Stark’s novel Astoria, nearly half of the parties died along the way before they established the trading port on the mouth of the Columbia. It became a huge fur trading port Fort Astoria was short-lived but helped blaze the Oregon Trail and show the potential that lay in the Pacific Northwest.

Since then, Astoria has been through all kinds of economic booms and busts in both the fur trade and fishing industry. Today, the town still contains remnants of its past, which can be found in the Heritage Museum or at the Fort Astoria National Historic Landmark. Astoria is also well known as a pop culture hub for film fans of movies like The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop and Free Willy. A charming town with rich history, Astoria is well worth a visit.


Image obtained from the City of Astoria website.

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