Ever heard of Derbyville? Well, the Ear hadn’t, either, until just the other day. Turns out it was along that stretch of land on the Washington side of the river between where the Astoria Bridge lands and the Chinook tunnel. The area is pictured, courtesy of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.
Derbyville was actually a camping area created to house the overflow of anglers who flocked to participate in the Astoria Regatta Derby Days salmon fishing competition. From The Daily Astorian Regatta insert, 1947: “Thousands thronged into the war-swollen, crowded city each fall, taxing housing capacity beyond its ability to handle them. Auto camps as far away as Seaside and Clatskanie were filled. Resorts were overrun. To many a family without means to rent a boat or pay for a hotel or auto camp, that chance to bring the family skiff and pitch a tent seemed like heaven. And along the north shore there was room for all.”
Sadly, the derby was curtailed by Oregon Fish & Wildlife regulations in the late 1960s (http://tinyurl.com/regderby), and Derbyville faded away. So now you know.