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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 19, 2018)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018
(503) 325-3211 ext. 257
IN ONE EAR • ELLEDA WILSON
NOTES FROM 1883
rom the Friday, Jan. 19, 1883 edition of The Daily Astorian:
• Though the comet is moving away at the rate of 20,000
miles a second, it is still visible in the gray of dawn.
Note: This probably refers to the remains of the Great Septem-
ber Comet of 1882, which Space.com says is probably the bright-
est comet ever seen (tinyurl.com/comet1882). It was described as
a “blazing star” near the sun before it broke up into at least four
pieces, and was visible in the morning sky for months.
• During 1882, in the United States, there were 101 persons
hanged in a regular way and 57 lynched. There were 750 murders
and 383 suicides.
• A medicine of real merit, prescribed by many leading physi-
cians, and universally recommended by those who have used it, as
a true tonic, is Brown’s Iron Bitters.
Note: The main ingredient is alcohol, at 39% (78 proof), which
is probably why people thought they were being cured of “dyspep-
sia, malaria, fevers, loss of appetite, lack of energy,” etc. (tinyurl.
• M. Giffard, lately deceased, has left to the French govern-
ment a legacy to be devoted to the establishment of a suicidaria,
or public institution in which persons suffering from painful and
incurable diseases may bring their own lives to an end under the
direction of medical experts, and with the consent of their imme-
Note: Giffard was a true believer — he euthanized himself
with an invention he created to inhale chloroform (tinyurl.com/
• For sale, on account of departure from the state, one lot in
a very desirable locality in this city. Price $325. Apply to E. C.
Holden, Real Estate Agent.
Note: That’s about $7,500 now. Just for comparison, and a real-
ity check: A 0.17 acre lot in Astoria, according to current Clat-
sop Multiple Listings, runs from $39,995 (no frontage, no view)
to $99,000 (no frontage, Columbia River view). How’s that for
‘A DELIGHT TO FLY’
ast week, this column ran a story about what a writer
from Seattle thinks of modern Astoria. “A San Fran-
ciscan’s Estimate of Our City,” ran in The Daily Morn-
ing Astorian in December 1885. At the time, the pop-
ulation was about 5,000, and Astoria was a thriving
“The streets are planked, and the planks rest on piles
— it is a city of innumerable piles,” he wrote, and was
doubly impressed that because most of businesses were
built out over the river, there was no need there for under-
ground infrastructure. “The surging sea beneath provides a
sewer system with which no human agency can compete
… Drinking water, however, is but very feebly patronized.
One can never consider an Astorian ashore. He is always
three sheets in the wind half seas over, or half over the
The four sections of the town at the time were Upper
Town (canneries), Middle Town (private residences),
Lower Town (shipping) and Slum Town (saloons, houses
of ill repute, opium dens). Overall, Astoria “contains the
most polyglot collection of humanity on the American con-
tinent …” including laborers of many trades and national-
ities, and “men and women of culture and refinement …”
“The place contains two good hotels and a sprightly
daily paper,” and the waterfront, then, as now, was com-
pelling, but he was most fascinated by Astoria’s fishermen.
“The waters are dotted with boats flitting in and out while
the shore is lined with a wilderness of outfits, comprising
boats, nets, reels, drying racks and knitting lofts, among
which boys are gamboling while men are knitting, mend-
ing, drying and arranging their nets.
“Abreast of the city, and looking seaward, the grandest
fishing spectacle in the world may be seen. To see the fish-
ing fleet at work is a sight to be remembered … ”
LET’S MAKE A DENT
he Feral Cat Coalition
of Oregon is offering free
spay/neuter for stray and feral
cats, vaccines included, for the
month of February, but space is
limited. Specials are available
for pet cats, too.
To schedule an appointment,
call 503-797-2606 or go to feralcats.com. Or, you can help a local
group, River Song Foundation. “Next month we will be orga-
nizing at least one run to the feral cat spay/neuter clinic,” Rita
Smith wrote. “We are hoping to line up multiple drivers to assist
with other caregivers, as well. If you would like to drive, need
help with cats, or know someone who does, please let us know.”
You can reach Rita at 503-861-2003.
“This is a great opportunity to get large (or small) groups of
cats altered and immunized for only the cost of gas,” she added.
“… There are thousands and thousands of homeless (and owned)
cats roaming unaltered. Let’s make a dent in that!”
erstin Colliander-Metzler of Blencogo, Cumbria, U.K. is
looking for information about her maternal grandmother’s
youngest brother, Oscar Ström, born Dec. 12, 1876. She is pic-
tured, with some of his papers.
“(He and my grandmother) had an exceptional bond, and when
he ‘had to’ emigrate to the States she, and their mother, were dev-
astated,” Kerstin wrote. “This happened at the turn of the last cen-
tury, so the chance that they were ever seeing each other again was
remote. Well, they never did.”
“He was born in Eskilstuna, Sweden,” Kirsten explained. “He
traveled out on a liner from Liverpool and came to Ellis Island, then
joined his brother in California for a while. He went on to Oregon,
and the last letter came in 1908. Whatever happened after that, we
never found out … I know from his letters that he wanted to go
back home more than anything in the world.”
For a while, in the early 1900s, Oscar lived at 2659 Ash St. in
Astoria. While here, he worked for Hammond Lumber as a tally-
man. His older brother, Evald, lived in San Francisco during the
great earthquake of 1906, and he’s buried in Sacramento City Cem-
etery. But what became of Oscar? Do you know? If so, please con-
tact the Ear at 503-325-3211, ext. 257 or ewilson@dailyastorian.
“I’ve sworn that I’m going to do everything I possibly can in my
life to find out what happened to this man,” Kerstin declared. “If I
ever find him,” she added, “… I swear I’ll get myself over to the
States once more, to visit their resting places. They have to know
they were never forgotten. Soppy, I know! But that’s how I feel.”
n innovative rescue is being touted as the world’s first of its
kind: A drone operated by a lifeguard at Lennox Head, Aus-
tralia, not only saved two swimmers who were in trouble by
dropping an inflatable pod to them — which they were able to use
to get safely back to shore — it filmed the entire event, the BBC
Better yet, the drone was able to reach the swimmers in 70
seconds; it would have taken a lifeguard at least six minutes.
Screen shots of the rescue are courtesy of BBC.com.
“The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today,” Jai
Sheridan, who piloted the device, told the Sydney Morning Her-
ald, “it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment,
and a delight to fly.”
A VISITOR’S VIEW
onday was the 109th anniversary of the demise of
the French ship, Alice. She was driven ashore in a
storm a mile north of Ocean Park, Washington, on Jan. 15,
1909, bound for Portland carrying a cargo of 3,000 tons of
cement, according to the Saltwater People Historical Soci-
Young Willie Taylor spotted the wreck accidentally
when he followed his dog, who would not stop barking, to
a spot overlooking the ocean. Perhaps the dog was making
such a ruckus because he was a shipwreck survivor himself,
of the schooner Solano in 1907.
Once alerted, Capt. Conick and his crew at the Klipsan
Lifesaving Station hitched up the horses to the surf boat
and wagon, and headed for the Alice. Unfortunately, the
awful weather and soft sand did not appeal to the horses,
who stopped in their tracks after about a mile. Conick and
his crew ventured out into the surf to reach the grounded
ship, which was 300 yards offshore, but by the time they got
there, the crew had already come ashore in their own boats.
No one was lost.
According to fluxstories.com (which provided the photo
shown), it was several days before the weather calmed down
enough so the Alice’s captain could return to inspect the
damage. Not only was there heavy damage to the masts and
sails, he was dismayed to find that the weight of the cargo
had driven the ship deep into the sand. The Alice could not
READ A GOOD BOOK LATELY?
omehow, the Ear always thought that pirates were too busy
swashing their buckles to take the time to peruse a book.
Wrong. An oddball maritime history footnote has come to light
of late, in the form of 300-year-old scraps of paper found on the
Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard’s ship (tinyurl.com/anne-
paper). Waterlogged, and stuffed into a cannon, the scraps were
remarkably legible, nonetheless, and reveal the “voyage narra-
tive” of a fellow sea captain. Apt reading material, to be sure.
Blackbeard (aka Edward Teach) ran the vessel aground in
May 1718, off the coast of North Carolina, but it wasn’t found
until 1996. Since then, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project has
been doing a painstakingly detailed excavation, just now discov-
ering the literary scraps, shown in a photo by the North Carolina
Department of National and Cultural Resources.
In case you’re wondering, the book in question is “A voy-
age to the South Sea, and Around the World,” by Capt. Edward
Cooke, first published in 1712.
ere’s a little feel-good snippet for the day: “On Monday, Jan.
15, in the parking lot at Columbia Memorial Hospital, I found
a note on my window,” Astorian Patrick Craig wrote. “I thought
someone hit my truck. I was surprised to find a note thanking me
for my service, and enclosed was money for coffee. I have Coast
Guard license plates.”
“I just want to thank the person who did this kindness,” he
added. “You really made my day. Just one more reason to live in
Astoria … the people.”
Sit & Stitch — 11 a.m. to 1
p.m., Homespun Quilts & Yarn, 108
10th St. Bring knitting, crochet or
other needlework projects to this
community stitching time. All skill
Model Railroading Club — 1
p.m., in Hammond. Group runs
trains on HO-scale layout. For in-
formation, call Don Carter at 503-
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 astoriafiberarts.com
Cannon Beach American Le-
gion Women’s Auxiliary Break-
fast — 9 to 11:30 a.m., American
Legion, 1216 S. Hemlock St., Can-
Line Dancing — 5:30 to 8 p.m.,
Seaside American Legion, 1315
Broadway. For information, call
503-738-5111. No cost; suggested
$5 tip to the instructor.
Chair Exercises for Seniors
— 9 to 9:45 a.m., Astoria Senior
Center, 1111 Exchange St. For in-
formation, call 503-325-3231.
Seekers Group — 6 to 7:30
p.m., Pioneer Presbyterian Church,
33324 Patriot Way, Warrenton.
Group discusses issues facing re-
ligious faith in the modern secular
world. All are welcome. For informa-
tion, call 503-861-2421.
Scandinavian Workshop —
10 a.m., First Lutheran Church, 725
33rd St. Needlework, hardanger,
knitting, crocheting, embroidery
and quilting. All are welcome. For
information, call 503-325-1364 or
Senior Lunch — 11:30 a.m.,
Bob Chisholm Senior Center, 1225
Avenue A, Seaside. Suggested do-
nation $3 for those older than 60;
$6.75 for those younger than 60.
For information, call Michelle Lew-
is at 503-861-4200.
Community Center, 170 S.W. Third
St. Suggested donation of $5 for
seniors and $7 for those younger
than 60. For information, or to vol-
unteer, call 503-861-3502 Monday
Columbia Senior Diners —
11:30 a.m., 1111 Exchange St. Cost
is $6. For information, or to have a
meal delivered, call 503-325-9693.
Astoria Rotary Club — noon,
second floor of the Astoria Elks
Lodge, 453 11th St. Guests always
welcome. For information, go to As-
Warrenton Senior Lunch
Program — noon, Warrenton
See NOTES, Page 2B