Monday, July 30, 2001

July 30, Astoria: The Flavel House and Courthouse

The Flavel House is a prominent landmark, and you can hardly miss it since it's near the post office and across the street from the back of the courthouse. Since I had a PO Box for business, I was in the area often. And even though, on my budget, the entrance fee seemed high, I bit the bullet and paid for it. I really wanted to see the house. Not only for the local history, but because it was built within about two years of when my grandmother's house had been built in Corona in a similar style. Her grandfather had built their house on a grand scale, with fine materials, often imported from St. Louis or the East Coast, and Flavel's project had been ramped up just a few notches from that. His mouldings were a few inches wider, the finishing just a few degrees finer. I think my grandmother's house was larger in size, or at least is was by the time the side wings had been added. The piece of land it was on was much larger and with an attached orchard and a yard filled with a variety of fruit-bearing trees. I believe this was mostly a legacy from her grandparents. But my grandmother's house had also been decapitated down to the ground floor in the early 1950s, and I hadn't seen it in its glory since I'd been too young to remember. I thought that a visit to the Flavel House might give me insight on the way they had lived, and I'd longed to see that since I was a child. The top photo shows part of the back yard from an upper story window.

The builing on the right is the carriage house, which is being renovated.

A homey scene in a small bedroom or sewing room.

I love the green tiles.

Here's a view out the back from another window.

Simple and elegant.

Here's the view east from an upper-story window looking toward the downtown area. You can see Tongue Point in the distance.

I love the ornamented hardware - as I said, just a few notches more ornate than the hardware in Grandma's house, but in a similar vein - a similar feel.

Outside now, a blue and white fowering bush in the front yard.

Here is the imposing facade - once again, a few notches more ornate than Grandma's, but with some similar elements.

Here's the front door.

More of the intriguing, majestic facade.

On the corner of Duane Avenue and 8th Street.

Across the street from the Flavel House is "the Goonies' Jail," the old county jail, with the courthouse on the right.

On the front corner of the courthouse is an old cannon. There's a cement bench in front, and on the bench the plaque reads: "Dedicated to our Fathers, by Oregon Department Daughters, Union Veterans of the Civil War 16th (?) Convention (?) 1934" and the dates 1861 and 1865.

And this is the cannon above the bench with the inscription.

Looking back up 8th Street from the corner near the cannon, you get one of the best views of the Flavel House.

Friday, July 27, 2001

July 26: The Ship Steadfast and the Maritime Museum

I spent a little time wandering around the Coast Guard dock and the construction project on the Maritime Museum today. As I look back on the photos (I'm posting these after the date on which I took them), I see that already things have changed. There's more fencing here, more concrete (I think. I'll have to look again.) Some things change without our taking much notice of them.

Here's another shot of the Steadfast, a Coast Guard ship that docks for long periods here in Astoria.

There were two ships in the dock that day, numbers 623 and 630. I especially like this view, head on.

Here in Astoria we've become very familiar with the Steadfast's shark-shaped logo.

Yes, that's a marijuana leaf painted in gold on the mast of the Steadfast. It looks quite pretty, but it seemed incongruous. Were a bunch of Oregon hippies sailing this ship? I thought not, so I asked. The Steadfast's main job is drug patrol on the high seas and coastal waters. Where do they go? They won't tell you exactly, but they often head "south."

Big ships' ropes are always intriguing.

The pink thing must be a water drop on the lens. I'm not sure about that. It's a lazy day on the docks, and a nice experience to be able to walk right up to the ships without mega security, fences to keep a person many feet back, etc. I hope we never lose these privileges. There's nothing like seeing a thing close up, whether it's a ship or an elephant.

Standing on the docks near the Coast Guard ships, I can look back at the Maritime Museum, still being remodelled and added-to. It seems it's about finished now.

There's the Maritime from another part of the dock.

Here's looking west from the Maritime docks toward the Astoria-Megler Bridge. I had no clue at this time that the base of the radio tower would someday be part of my life.

Here's a picture back toward land from the small pier shown just above. Just to the right of the high part of the tree-covered hill, you can see the Astoria Column, looking spindly and small from this distance.

The trolley runs along the waterfront and the museum is one of its stops. Here you can see the cyclone fencing still in place while they finish construction on the museum.

A nice day on the water. And no, Toto, I don't think we're in Colorado any more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

July 25: Fort Clatsop, near Astoria

Today I went to have a look at Fort Clatsop, a 1955 replica of the original fort built by the Lewis and Clark expedition to when they stayed here during the winter of 1805-1806. (Since I took these photos, the original model burned down in 2005. I'll have to go back and take photos of the new one.) It's run by the U.S. National Park Service, and this is the headquarters, gift shop, and display building by the parking lot. The whole is hidden away in the forest, not that far from town, but so isolated you feel you are miles from civilization. It's a nice place to go!

This is the path coming out of the headquarters. You take a very short walk from there to the fort replica.

Here is the fort - hard to photograph with so many shadows, but it was wonderful to be in such a wooded location. I was still just beginning to experience the various plants and trees here in Oregon, and I was in awe at all of the new things I was discovering. Really? All these things grow here? A northern rainforest was still somewhat of a new concept for me.

The staff had gone out of their way to make realistic displays. This is sitting in the forest where you can walk around it and look at all the detail. Sometimes they give talks and demonstrations.

Here's the main fort building. It's not very big. The only forts I'd seen were big and meant for a lot more people.

Here's a candle-making display in one of the dark rooms. It was not well-lit, because they were trying to keep it as authentic as possible. It even smelled of furs.

Here's a sleeping room.

Maps on a desk and fire in the hearth.

This is a lantern. It's made of metal with holes bored into it in patterns. I really loved the look of this.

After leaving the fort buildings, I took the path through the woods. Ferns found in conjunction with pine trees were still a new phenomenon for me. I love this vegetation and the cool feel beneath the trees.

I also like the signs describing at least some of the plants. This is a deer fern. The quote is from Captain Lewis's journal.

Here's the wide gravel path and the bench, not quite wild, but it made for easy walking.

The forest path led toward a natural cove in the river, and there's a canoe replica here to show us how the area was used. Having grown up in California, I was astonished that these displays could be unattended and available to the public without being graffiti'd or carved to bits. People seem to behave themselves better here, and the crowds are clearly not as great, even during summer tourist season. It made me feel happy to live here.

Near the canoe I've come to the end of the trail, a deck where you can look out over the marshy inlet where Lewis and Clark apparently came ashore.

Here's a view of the inlet and cove from the platform. It was totally peaceful, totally idyllic, and - amazingly - only about 10 minutes from home. This is the Lewis and Clark River, which feeds into Youngs Bay just about where the bay opens out into the Columbia River. Here's a map.

Here's another dugout canoe, in the shade.

Gnarled tree roots.

And more ferns and broadleaf plants under the canopy of the trees. It was a beautiful place to get out and enjoy being in the woods.