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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (April 14, 2017)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2017
(503) 325-3211 ext. 257
IN ONE EAR • ELLEDA WILSON
TOUR THE TITANIC
IN THE BEGINNING …
he RMS Titanic sank 105 years ago Saturday, with more
than 1,500 dying in the tragedy, including the great-grandson
of Astoria’s namesake, John Jacob Astor IV. The location of the
wreck was found, at a depth of about 12,800 feet, by Robert Bal-
lard in 1985.
Fewer than 200 people have actually seen the wreck from a
submersible, but now OceanGate Inc. (www.oceangate.com) has
announced the seven-week Titanic Survey Expedition: 2018.
Using a state-of-the-art submersible, the Cyclops 2, and the lat-
est imaging technology, the survey team will assess Titanic’s con-
dition and document (but not collect) artifacts. The illustration
shown of Cyclops 2 surveying the Titanic is by Andrea Gatti for
According to GeekWire (http://tinyurl.com/RMStour), the
2018 trip to the bottom is not only for scientists. During the expe-
dition there are nine seats available for “mission specialists” (aka
wealthy tourists) to tag along for an eight-day Titanic sight-seeing
tour. The sale of those seats will help fund the expedition.
And, Blue Marble Private (www.bluemarbleprivate.com) is
offering this grand opportunity at a paltry $105,129 per person.
Better start saving those pennies now.
DON’T FADE AWAY
pril 12 is a significant date in Astoria’s history. Here’s
why: When John Jacob Astor decided to establish an
outpost at the mouth of the Columbia River after form-
ing the Pacific Fur Company in 1810, he sent out two
groups: one by land, and one by sea to round Cape Horn in
the Tonquin, captained by Jonathan Thorn, according to
The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912, Volume 1
The ship set sail Sept. 8, 1810, with a crew of 21 and
33 passengers, all connected to Astor’s trading company.
After an “uneventful voyage,” the Tonquin arrived at the
mouth of the Columbia, in a storm, on March 22, 1811.
Capt. Thorn “now exhibited his real character as a
heartless wretch and unmitigated brute,” the account says.
He ordered his first mate Fox (whom he disliked) and a
small crew to get into a leaking boat, in the storm, to make
soundings of the Columbia bar. Fox plead for their lives to
no avail; they set out in the boat and were never seen again.
Two others were lost in similar attempts.
The ship wound up just drifting over the bar and into
Baker Bay (Washington) on March 24, 1811, and a party
was sent out to find a good spot to build on. After five days
ashore, no one could agree on a good location. Yes, the
cantankerous Thorn was among them.
Fur traders Duncan McDougal and David Stuart wanted
to try the south side of the river. Thorn objected, calling it
a “sporting excursion.” They left anyway, got caught in a
squall, and their boat capsized. Luckily, they were rescued
by some Chinook Indians. Despite the rough start, the duo
finally found Point George, a perfect spot for Astor’s trad-
And so, on April 12, 1811, thanks to McDougal and
Stuart, 12 men from the Tonquin landed at Point George
and started building the fort that eventually became the city
of Astoria. Now you know why April 12 is so important —
it’s Astoria’s birthday.
t’s probably a good thing some lucky tourists are going to see the
Titanic up close while they can, as a BBC story by Jasmin Fox-
Skelly reports that the ship is disappearing, and might be gone in
as little as 14 years (http://tinyurl.com/titangone). The Titanic is
pictured in happier times.
The discovery of the culprit started in 1991, when scientists
from Nova Scotia collected some “rusticles” hanging from the ship
and found them to be “teeming with life.” Finding out what kind
of life took until 2010, when other scientists isolated a single previ-
ously unknown bacteria species, which was named, appropriately,
Impressive moniker aside, the little microbes — who thrive in
the dark, high pressure environment several miles down on the
ocean floor — are eating the iron hull and turning the ship to rust
at a pretty good clip.
“The iron in the 47,000-tonne vessel will end up in the ocean,”
Fox-Skelly wrote, predicting a sad end for the once deemed
“unsinkable” passenger liner. “Eventually, some of it will be incor-
porated in the bodies of marine animals and plants. The Titanic will
have been recycled.”
his is Pamela Mattson McDonald waiting at Tesla’s new
Seaside charging station for her new Tesla 3 to be delivered,
David Isaacs captioned the photo shown. She ordered the car last
year, when they were released for presale. One is pictured, inset,
courtesy of Tesla.
“What’s the big deal?” the Ear wondered, at first. Actually, it’s
a very big deal. For one thing, the Tesla 3 is an all-electric car,
not a hybrid, which means no internal combustion engine and no
driveshaft, according to TesslaCentral.com (http://tinyurl.com/
tesla3info). And, it can go 215 miles on one charge, much further
than other all-electric cars.
It’s fast, too. A Ford salesman told Pamela and David the Tesla
3 is faster than the Mustang Cobra — Ford’s fastest. “After look-
ing up the speed,” David said, “the Tesla 3 was listed at an amaz-
ing 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. That’s whiplash speed, 3.5Gs.”
The car may be speedy, but delivery sure won’t be. Produc-
tion starts sometime this year, with delivery slated for next year.
It’s a long wait, but at least the West Coast is expected to get first
access. “Indeed, the wait is the mystery,” David noted.
Pamela must feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for
Santa. A very long Christmas Eve.
SAFE AND SOUND
ita Smith and the River Song Foundation volunteers, with
the help of several other individuals and local agencies,
recently spent a month rescuing 17 cats from an extreme hoarding
situation, and the Wildlife Center of the North Coast (www.coast-
wildlife.org) rescued a bird. Three of the cats are pictured.
There’s been a great deal of expense involved restoring the
health of these badly neglected animals, and getting them shots and
neutering — and you can help. Just go to the River Song Founda-
tion’s website, http://riversongfoundation.org and donate, or mail
a check to the foundation at P.O. Box 44, Hammond, OR 97121.
And don’t forget, after all they’ve been through, these critters
need and deserve loving forever homes, too. Interested? Call Rita
at 503-861-2003. You can also call her if you know of a hoard-
ing situation with animals involved, and she can give you a list of
places to call for help.
“This was a really unfortunate situation,” Rita explained. “It is
a real shame that in most of these cases, people don’t know how to
get help for the person or animals.”
DO YOU KNOW JAYDEN?
n last week’s column, it was mentioned that 12 people
from the Corps of Discovery, including William Clark
(pictured inset), hiked from Fort Clatsop to Cannon Beach
to barter or buy some whale oil and blubber from the Kil-
lamuck tribe. A map of the route is shown, courtesy of the
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
It was a trip that was not without misadventure, includ-
ing an incident that Ralph Wirfs brought to the Ear’s atten-
tion. According to a journal entry for Jan. 9, 1806, Clark
had a close call on the way back from Cannon Beach.
After purchasing three gallons of oil and 300 pounds
of whale blubber, the group divided the weight up to carry
back to Fort Clatsop on foot. “We … shudder at the dread-
ful road on which we have to return,” Clark wrote.
They came upon some Clatsop tribal members carry-
ing “immense” loads of whale oil and blubber on a steep
incline (Neahkahnie Mountain, most likely). As she was
descending the tricky path, a woman’s load slipped off her
back, and she fell near Clark — leaving her gripping the
strap of the bag with one hand, and hanging onto a bush for
dear life with the other.
Clark “endeavored to relieve this woman by taking
her load,” and was astonished to find it was “as much as
I could lift, and must exceed a hundredweight (about 112
pounds).” Fortunately, her husband turned back and came
up to help her, and both Clark and the woman survived the
Not surprisingly, that evening Clark noted that he felt
“excessively fatigued.” And lucky to be alive, no doubt.
renda McKune of Warrenton was delighted when she found a
black leather notebook at the Goodwill in Warrenton for 99
cents. Once she got home and started looking through it, though,
she found it contained a loving journal written by a grandmother for
her 2 or 3-year-old grandson, Jayden, whom she refers to as “my
darling Jaydee Boo-Boo.” The first entry is dated Dec. 24, 2005.
Some old photos were tucked in the book too, of children named
Mary and John, dated 1962 and 1963, and a middle-aged cou-
ple (shown) — Mary and John grown up, perhaps? Unfortunately,
there are no last names or cities mentioned, but Jayden has an Aunt
Tish and an Aunt Molly.
Do you know whose journal this is? If so, please contact the Ear
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-325-3211, ext. 257.
Brenda wants to return the journal pages and photos to the fam-
ily. “I am a real mush when it comes to this,” she said. “I just can’t
imagine getting rid of something so special. I would give anything
to have my past.”
rom 133 years ago, tidbits from The Daily Morning Asto-
rian, Tuesday, April 15, 1884:
• How the years go by! It is 19 years today since Lincoln died.
• Chas. Clagg, of this city, was discharged from the state
insane asylum last Saturday.
• The post office name of Skookum Chuck, Washington Ter-
ritory, has been changed to Centralia. The last legislature changed
the name of the village from Centerville to Centralia, and now
the last vestige of time-honored Skookum Chuck vanishes from
• J. Shelton, of this place, says the Coquille, Oregon, Herald
has on exhibition an egg which has a shell half soft and the other
half hard, which has a protuberance, very much like a piece of
rubber pipe at one end, over three inches long. The hen that laid
it is doing well.
Chinook Indian Nation General Coun-
cil — 10 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. meeting,
Columbia River Heritage Museum, 115
Lake St. S.E., Ilwaco, Washington. Meet-
ing open to all tribal members. Attendees
should bring a potluck item. For questions,
call the tribal office at 360-875-6670.
Columbia Northwestern Model Rail-
roading Club — 1 p.m., in Hammond.
Group runs trains on HO-scale layout. For
information, call Don Carter at 503-325-
Spinning Circle — 1 to 3 p.m., Astoria
Fiber Arts Academy, 1296 Duane St. Bring
a spinning wheel. For information, call 503-
325-5598 or go to http://astoriafiberarts.
Cannon Beach American Legion
Women’s Auxiliary Breakfast — 9 to
11:30 a.m., American Legion, 1216 S. Hem-
lock St., Cannon Beach.
Line Dancing — 5:30 to 8 p.m.,
Seaside American Legion, 1315 Broad-
way. For information, call 503-738-
5111. No cost; suggested $5 tip to the in-
For information, call 503-325-1364 or 503-
Chair Exercises for Seniors — 9 to
9:45 a.m., Astoria Senior Center, 1111 Ex-
change St. For information, call 503-325-
Senior Lunch — 11:30 a.m., Bob
Chisholm Senior Center, 1225 Avenue A,
Seaside. Suggested donation $3 for those
older than 60; $6.75 for those younger than
60. For information, call Michelle Lewis at
Scandinavian Workshop — 10 a.m.,
First Lutheran Church, 725 33rd St. Nee-
dlework, hardanger, knitting, crocheting,
embroidery and quilting. All are welcome.
Columbia Senior Diners — 11:30 a.m.,
1111 Exchange St. Cost is $6. For informa-
tion, or to have a meal delivered, call 503-
Warrenton Senior Lunch Program —
noon, Warrenton Community Center, 170
S.W. Third St. Suggested donation of $5 for
seniors and $7 for those younger than 60.
For information, or to volunteer, call 503-
861-3502 Monday or Thursday.
Astoria Rotary Club — noon, second
floor of the Astoria Elks Lodge, 453 11th St.
Guests always welcome. For information,
go to www.AstoriaRotary.org
See NOTES, Page 2B