Category Archives: Nautical History

1899: the Old Columbia Lightship Sails Over Dry Land

Forty years after a lighthouse was built on Cape Disappointment,  the first light ship on the Pacific Coast arrived to take up its station off the mouth of the Columbia River. With no means of propulsion except sails, it was … Continue reading

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Remembering the Lightship Columbia

“The Coast Guard has signed the death warrant for the Columbia River lightship,” wrote Larry Barber at the end of 1979. Two congressmen had asked for “a reprieve,” he noted, after hearings in which fisherman and seafarers had voiced their … Continue reading

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Cape Disappointment Lighthouse–is 150 Years Old

Cape Disappointment is Washington’s Oldest Lighthouse There was a small ceremony this winter at Cape Disappointment Lighthouse that marked its 150 years of service to mariners. Cape D was the first light on the entire west coast, and all the … Continue reading

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Colin Archer and the Viking Tradition

How the 150-Year Old Norway Pilot Boat Became the World’s #1 Offshore Design Pride in the Norse seafaring tradition is kept alive in the Pacific Northwest by immigrants from the Nordic countries and is visible in many forms. In Seattle … Continue reading

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In the Wake of the Vikings

 Re-Discovering the Viking Longship The Vikings! From the eighth century until the invasion of England in 1066, they voyaged along the coast of northern Europe and ventured up rivers to raid cities far inland. They were feared from the Baltic … Continue reading

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2014: Preservation of James O. Hanthorn Cannery, Astoria

(First published in the Coast River Business Journal) ASTORIA — Fourteen years ago, Floyd Holcom purchased the James O. Hanthorn Cannery with two other investors. Neither of Holcom’s partners are still involved with the waterfront property. However, Holcom maintains a … Continue reading

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The Great Astoria Ferry War of 1927 by P.Marsh

Real Astorians Remember the Ferry Ride to Washington! Update: Owner of the Tourist No. 2, based in Puget Sound for over 40 years,  plans to return it to Astoria! Walk to the foot of 12th Street and you will see … Continue reading

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Tango Round the Horn–Last American Windjammer

This extensive  nautical book review/history is in the “Services” section of the website . Click here to here to read it.

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2015: Visit the Hanthorn Cannery Museum in Astoria

Preserving the History of the Canneries and the Workers The Hanthorn Cannery Museum in Astoria is a place like no other on the west coast: a collection of old fishing and fish-canning equipment and boats housed in the oldest cannery … Continue reading

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1992: Portland’s Sternwheel Tug Steams into the 21st Century

Vintage steamboat built in 1947 escaped the scrapyard–by PM The sternwheel steamboat was an everyday sight on the Portland, Oregon, waterfront until the 1920s. And although those ferryboats disappeared long ago, steampower lived on until 1981 in the shape of … Continue reading

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