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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington

Astoria, Oregon ~ May 20, 2011

We've been seeing a lot of these beautiful tall ships on the Columbia River for the past few days. They've been taking passengers out for exciting reenactments and photo ops. I haven't gone, but I know someone who did, and I may be posting a photo or two when they come out of the camera. This is part of Astoria's bicentennial celebration.

I was working the other day and heard a loud "BOOM"! As it turns out, the ships were firing cannons at each other and there was a big puff of white smoke next to one of the ships. I can't believe how loud the cannon fire was!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Darigold Art

Astoria, Oregon ~ May 17, 2011

I love finding art in unexpected places, and this time I found it on the side of the old Darigold building next to the train station. The building is slated for demolition at the end of May. Please see yesterday's post for further info and to learn what Ron Walker is looking for before the building disappears.

Here is another picture of the Darigold building that I took last May and posted in June. I know more about it now than I did a year ago. Let's hope we can get more and more stories so Ron Walker's project of preserving the history of this historic structure will be filled with fascinating stories and tidbits of Astoria's past. You can help by e-mailing Ron at or phoning him at (503) 440-3506.

It seems that Blogger may be having some trouble accepting comments. PLEASE copy your comment before you post it, and if it doesn't show up immediately, copy it to e-mail and send it to me at Thank you! I have no idea what the problem is.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Requesting Your Stories about the Darigold Building by the Old Astoria Train Station

Darigold Building, Astoria, Oregon ~ Photo Copyright Ron Walker

With all the celebration and events going on for the Astoria Bicentennial (1811 to 2011), you might think I'd focus on that this week, but I'm not. While celebrations are fun, I believe that history is a concern for every day. This old building next to the retired train station on the River Walk is slated for demolition at the end of May. I would love to see some way to restore it, but here is the point of the post:

RON WALKER REQUESTS YOUR STORIES, information, and anecdotes about the historic Darigold Building pictured above. You can help by e-mailing Ron at or phoning him at (503) 440-3506. Ron tells me he is also making a documentary about the building, and collecting interview footage for that purpose. He's interested in any and all stories you have. Please check out the blog comments below for more details. 

Ron says he's learning that the building had a fascinating history and has been used by Astorians in many interesting ways. One bit of info I learned from reading Elleda Wilson's "In One Ear" column in the Daily Astorian is that in the 1920s and 1930s, people could order from the Sears catalog and pick up their purchases in this building next to the train station. Those few words alone bring back memories for many of us whether we lived in Astoria or not (Mom ordering from the Sears catalog and waiting weeks for delivery!). What can you remember about Dairygold? The picture posted above is Ron's, but I took some myself the other day and will post more this week. VERY SOON THIS LANDMARK WILL BE GONE! I hate seeing old buildings that have character and stories disappear into nothing. It would take tons of money to restore it, but this is one of those times I wish I could somehow do it. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sand Bar

Astoria, Oregon ~ May 8, 2011

I took this photo from the Astoria Column with a 12x zoom. This is definitely not how it looks to the naked eye from that far away. You can see Ilwaco, Washington, on the far side of the river. The shipping channel is off the photo at the bottom, and the tall points of the bridge are out of sight to the left. As you can see here, the ships' pilots have to know what they're doing. Here you can see a photo of the sand bar taken from the bridge.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bag All Fish Guts

Astoria, Oregon ~ May 8, 2011

Here is the third photo from the same day at the same location. It just goes to show how lucky we are. Every direction is a picture - and I haven't even shown the marina yet. I promised to post the sign, which says, "Bag all fish guts. Then put in the DUMPSTER." I guess they are serious. There are many, many boats in the marina behind me, and most are for fishing.

The Cannery Pier Hotel seen in the last two posts is out of sight on the left, and the red building on the right is a beautifully-refurbished building which was (I think) formerly used for marine-type storage. I imagine that originally it was part of the cannery. Having said that it was beautifully refurbished, I still liked it better before it was fixed up. I was lucky enough to attend a drawing group upstairs on this end for awile, and Royal Nebeker and Rhonda Grudenic had their studios upstairs. Rhonda's figure drawing was amazing, although she's better known for her abstract paintings. I think there were other studios in the building that I'm not aware of. The atmospheric weathered wood and everything that was aged and creaky reminded me of old stables and ranch buildings I grew up with, and I loved the feeling. The old red building was a place that felt intrinsically creative.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crab, Oysters, Live Lobster, Manila Clams

Astoria, Oregon ~ May 8, 2011

'Tis the season for things that come from the water. Dungeness crabs are caught by the boats we see going back and forth on the river. Amazing oysters come from famous oyster beds just across the river in Washington. I'm not sure about the live lobsters. I think they must be flown in, and maybe someone can enlighten me about that. We can dig for razor clams at the beach during some seasons, but I'm not sure where we get Manila clams. What's the story on this?

In the background you can see the hotel and bridge from yesterday's post; I took that photo when the sun was out for a few minutes. Yes, Jacob, the tide is definitely out! The table in the foreground is for cleaning your catch. I'll show you the sign tomorrow. The cloudy sky is so typical. The blue is the anomaly, although we've had a couple of truly glorious days this year.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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