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Newsy notes from 1890 Astoria
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on September 29, 2017 12:01AM

News tidbits from the Monday, Sept. 29, 1890 edition of The Daily Morning Astorian (pictured, Stengele’s view of Astoria, 1890):

• Only one more night and the incandescent system will be in operation. If the light continues as good as on the trial night, it will soon be used in most of the houses, offices and stores in the central part of the city.

Note: By 1880, Thomas Edison and his team had created an incandescent bulb with a bamboo filament that lasted 1,200 hours; the previous version only lasted 14.5 hours. (

• Fine Table Wine: Delivered at 60 cents a gallon (about $15 now), to any part of the city. A fine line of pure California wines at low prices at A. W. Utzinger’s Cosmopolitan Saloon.

Note: This saloon was open from 1889 to1896 ( Mr. Utzinger was a man of many talents; Scientific American reported that he patented a music rack holder for wind instruments in 1888 ( .

• Yesterday morning there arrived on the steam schooner Augusta from the Nehalem river, Wm. Edward, a resident of that section, bringing with him 250 pounds of beeswax which he had picked up with the assistance of his daughter, Minnie Garitse, on the coast near the Nehalem.

It is said the beeswax was part of a cargo of a vessel that was wrecked on the coast near the Nehalem river, but the oldest inhabitant of that section does not remember of hearing of a wreck. But Indians living in that part of the county say it was wrecked over a hundred years ago.

Note: Chunks of beeswax from the “Beeswax Wreck” have appeared in the sand near Nehalem over the last 200 years. The date and location of the wreck are still a mystery, but the Maritime Archaeological Society is working on finding the answers (

This much they know: It was a Spanish galleon of the Manila trade. Both Nehalem Indian stories and early trader journals mention the ship, suggesting it wrecked before Europeans explored or settled in the Pacific Northwest. In case you don’t recall, Astoria, the oldest settlement, was founded in 1811.


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