Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Save Fort Columbia!

I've been doing lots and lots of historical posting, anachronistic posting, or whatever you want to call it. I've been working from photos I took in 2001, when I first moved to Oregon, and I've just done a post with lots of photos of Fort Columbia, Washington, just across the river from Astoria. It's a beautiful place, well kept-up and fun to wander around in. You can climb the mountain behind it, too, making a nice, steep loop, not too strenuous or long, and come back down into the fort. The whole time you're walking through forest or forest meadow (sometimes mud, too, but not that bad). When I looked it up online to make a link, I found two things within a minute of each other. First, I didn't realize you can actually rent a couple of these houses for a night. They're historic and lovely, and they aren't that expensive, especially if you double up. There is a house that sleeps four and another that accommodates up to 12 people for a bit over $200.00!!! If you happen to have a party of 12, that's only $23.00 each plus tax!!! What a deal! Or if you had a few people, you could each have two or three beds.

After my excitement at this discovery, the next thing I found was really discouraging. It was a recent article in the Daily Astorian about plans to "mothball" Fort Columbia. (Note: I see that I can't make a direct link; if you're not a subscriber to the Astorian, as I'm not, you'll have to get in by the back door. Use this link to search Google, and then look for the search result 'Fort Columbia targeted for mothballing.' It was the top result today when I searched.) Now, the reason for closing down this historic site? Under-use and lack of funds. I put in my two cents and sent e-mail to the cause, and now I'm posting about it o this blog. It would be a terrible shame. Maybe some PR would help? I mean, who knew you could actually stay in such a unique and historic building for so little? If the plan goes through - and in this economy, I'm afraid it will - they'll allow hikers and day-use people to use the place, but they won't maintain it. Maybe there's a "Save Fort Columbia" organization where I can add a little more than two cents. It would be worthwhile. On the other hand, when school budgets are being cut so drastically and people are losing their jobs, the choices become so difficult. I think there must be a way to preserve both. When you lose history, you don't necessarily get it back. But we can't undereducate kids and take teachers out of schools. The choices to be made in this economy are pathetic and sad. There is so much wealth in the world, yet the balance is horribly off.

I found this on YouTube. Here's one of the strange things you can do at Fort Columbia. Hang on. It may take a minute to load.

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