Astoria

astoria-panorama

Inhabited for thousands of years by coastal Native American tribes, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-06 just west of Astoria at Fort Clatsop. John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company began operations there in 1811, and built Fort Astoria, only to have it and the trading enterprise sold to the British just a few years later.  By 1847, Astoria was a significant outpost and is home to the first U.S. Post Office west of the Rocky Mountains. In the late 19th century a large immigrant population from Scandinavia and China provided the necessary workforce to catch and process salmon, for a burgeoning market worldwide. The salmon population was seriously depleted by the 1920s and local companies turned to catching and processing tuna. By the 1980s, the tuna industry had moved on to other locations, and Astoria began a slow move toward re-defining itself. The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial sparked a significant rebirth of the community in 2005-06 and since then Astoria has become well-known for its rich heritage.