Walking Tour of Astoria
This is a short walking tour of Astoria that includes several museums and local historical landmarks.
The Uppertown Firefighter's Museum opened in 1989 and features firefighting equipment and memorabilia, including vintage fire fighting trucks, hand and horse-drawn fire trucks, and photographs. The earliest items date back to 1877. The building was originally constructed for the North Pacific Brewing Company as a storage house. It was remodeled in 1929 and became Astoria Fire House No. 2 until it was decommissioned in 1960. It was then used for storage until the Clatsop Historical Society acquired it and opened it as a museum in 1989. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Established in 1962, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is Oregon's official state maritime museum. It promotes the natural and cultural history of the river and the Pacific Northwest and houses the largest collection of artifacts related to this region: 30,000 artifacts, 20,000 photographs, and 10,000 volumes in its research library. Exhibits cover topics such as the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, the salmon river run, and the floating lighthouse Columbia, which is a National Historic Landmark (visitors can tour the vessel). In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers classes, workshops and demonstrations.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building served as Astoria's City Hall from 1905 (the year it was built) to 1939. It was designed by the Emil Schacht in the Colonial Revival style. It replaced an earlier city hall built in 1878 that was too far west of what was becoming the city's downtown area. Interestingly, the new building was constructed over the first American cemetery established west of the Mississippi River in 1811. The building is now the home of the Clatsop County Historical Society's Archive and museum, generally referred to as the Heritage Museum. It features permanent and changing exhibits that cover local cultural and natural history. Topics include Native American history, the logging and fishing industries, ethnic immigration and prohibition. Interesting items include a 1,000 year-old hunting implement and 18th century Chinook and Clatsop baskets.
A small park with partial replica is located at the intersection of 15th and Exchange streets, where John Jacob Astor's fur traders originally constructed their fort. A mural recreates the vista from the Fort in 1813 as a backdrop to the recreated stockade building on the Fort Astoria Park property. John Jacob Astor attempted to break the British monopoly on the Pacific Northwest fur trade starting with construction of this fortified trading post in 1811. The fort subsequently became an important part of the American territorial claim to the Oregon Country. Astor sold the fort to the British North West Company in 1813.
Built in 1886, this historic home is one the best remaining examples of Queen Anne architecture in the northwest. It was designed by Carl W. Leick for its namesake, George Flavel (1823-1893). Flavel was wealthy real estate investor who worked his way up starting from work as a river bar pilot. He built the home to be used as his retirement home. The home is owned and operated by the Clatsop County Historical Society. There is also a carriage house which Flavel built in 1887. It is now the museum visitor center and gift shop. The house is also known for its role in the movie The Goonies; the character who played Mikey's dad worked as a curator in the house. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Oregon's varied geography and climate has attracted filmmakers since the early 1900s. Founded in 2010, the Oregon Film Museum celebrates this history. It is located in the historic old jail which was built in 1913 and used as a prison until 1976. As such, it is believed to be the longest operating free standing jailhouse in the state. The museum contains many film artifacts and memorabilia, including items from probably the most well-known film made in Oregon is The Goonies, which debuted 1985. Data's jacket and other items from the film are displayed. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.