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.

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