Astoria Revisited Pt. 1
Coffee and a Cannery
Following the Lewis & Clark Expedition in the early 1800’s, John Jacob Astor dispatched both land and sea parties to establish a fur trading post in this northwestern territory. The post, named Fort Astoria, was built in 1811, making it the earliest American settlement on the West Coast.
During the War of 1812, the British war-sloop HMS Racoon came to take the fort, proclaiming it Fort George in honor of King George III… hence, the name of the aforementioned brewery. As we know, that didn’t turn out so well for them and by the mid-1840’s, with pioneers from the Oregon Trail filtering in, the town was renamed Astoria.
We always like to start the day out at a local bakery. Our Astoria friends recommended a couple of places and Coffee Girl turned out to be just the right choice — charming & historical plus location, location, location. In order to get there, you have to drive out on an old, narrow wooden bridge where you arrive at the West’s oldest cannery building located on Pier 39 adjacent to the Columbia River.
The cannery was home to none other than Bumble Bee Seafoods of tuna fame for almost 50 years beginning in the 1930’s. The original “Coffee Girls” served coffee to the cannery workers.
These days there are a number of different businesses housed in this building including the Coffee Girl cafe. While enjoying our coffee/chai and bagels, we had a marvelous view of the Columbia as various fishing vessels set out on the river for their daily catch.
After breakfast, we took in the small museum there dedicated to the history of the cannery containing an interesting collection of items large and small.
With most of the day still at our disposal, we decided take in some more Astoria history by visiting the Columbia River Maritime Museum. See you in the next post for that experience.