1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Astoria

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ASTORIA, a city, port of entry, and the county-seat of Clatsop county, Oregon, U.S.A., on the Columbia river, 8 m. from its mouth. Pop. (1890) 6184; (1900) 8381, of whom 3779 were foreign-born (many being Finns,—a Finnish weekly was established here in 1905), and 601 were Chinese; (1910, census) 9599. It is served by the Astoria & Columbia River railroad (Northern Pacific System), and by several coastwise and foreign steamship lines (including that of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Co.). The river here is about 6 m. wide, and the city has a water-front of about 5 m. and a deep, spacious and placid harbour. By dredging and the construction of jetties the Federal government has since 1885 greatly improved the channel at the mouth of the river. The business portion of the city occupies the low ground of the river bottom; the residence portion is on the hillsides overlooking the harbour. Astoria is the port of entry for the Oregon Customs District, Oregon; in 1907 its imports were valued at $21,262, and its exports at $329,103. The city is especially important as a salmon fishing and packing centre (cod, halibut and smaller fish also being abundant); it has also an extensive lumber trade, important lumber manufactories, pressed brick and terra-cotta factories, and dairy interests. In 1905 the value of the factory product was $3,092,628 (of which $1,759,871 was the value of preserved and canned fish), being an increase of 41.8% in five years. Astoria is the oldest American settlement in the Columbia Valley. It was founded in 1811, as a depot for the fur trade, by John Jacob Astor, in whose honour it was named. It was seized by the British in 1813, but was restored in 1818. In 1821, while occupied by the North-West Fur Company, it was burned and practically abandoned, only a few settlers remaining. It was chartered as a city in 1876.

See Washington Irving’s Astoria; or Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains (Philadelphia, 1836).