Astoria in Clatsop County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
First on the Paciﬁc: The Astoria Custom House
A Seismic Shift
In the mid-1800s, the minor act of erecting a small wooden building on the Oregon coast brought huge changes. In 1849, Astoria became the first U.S. port of entry for goods reaching the west coast. Previously, ships that wanted to trade in the area dealt with officials from the Hudson's Bay Company.
After the construction of the Astoria Custom House, import duties and taxes were collected from ships by John Adair, an American official, as they crossed the bar from the Pacific Ocean on their way to Fort Vancouver, or later to Portland and the Willamette Valley.
As an official port of entry, business in Astoria revolved around the Custom House. At the time of its construction, Astoria consisted of two small settlement spread along the Columbia River shoreline with fewer than 200 people. However, when a ship appeared along the horizon, it brought about a burst of frenzied activity. Kitchen stoves were lit, fur traders brought out their pelts,
Ships brought more than just business. Mail, residents, and news from the rest of the world came ashore. Even things like the latest songs and fashions came to Astoria first and then filtered into the rest of the region because of the Custom House.
Erected by City of Astoria.
Location. 46° 11.568′ N, 123° 48.324′ W. Marker is in Astoria, Oregon, in Clatsop County. Marker is on Leif Erikson Drive (U.S. 30) near 34th Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3455 Leif Erikson Drive, Astoria OR 97103, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Imagine the Scene: Astoria's Custom House - 1849 (here, next to this marker); Custom House Reconstruction (a few steps from this marker); Fire Station No. 2 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Columbia River Bar (approx. ¾ mile away); Pilot Boat Peacock (approx. ¾ mile away); A Great Artery of Transportation (approx. one mile away); A Waterfront at Work (approx. one mile away); "Ocian in view, O! the Joy..." (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Astoria.
Categories. • Government • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 7, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.