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In One Ear: Local brevities

News from 1883
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 5, 2018 12:01AM

Tidbits from the Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1883 edition of The Daily Astorian:

• The rediscovery of tin is reported about four miles north of MacKenzie’s Head in Pacific County. … The Columbia canners use an immense amount of tinned sheet iron every year, and a new industry in its manufacture could be created.

Note: McKenzie Head is a rounded hill between the Cape Disappointment and North Head lighthouses. File this rumor under “Wishful Thinking.” A search of the Mineral Resources Data System ( for the commodity “tin” shows no tin anywhere near that area. ( reveals there are other commodities in Pacific County, even gold, but not in large quantities.

• What’s in a Name?: Notice is hereby given that the city assessment roll for 1883 is now in my hands for collection … J. G. Hustler, City Treasurer

• The cable to be laid across the Columbia to Fort Canby (Cape Disappointment, Washington) is a costly piece of work, the four miles being worth nearly $15,000 (about $374,000 now).

Note: One has to wonder just how many cables are on the bottom of the river. In late 1903, the Chief of the Weather Bureau reported that “a new 3-conductor submarine telegraph cable” from Flavel (near Hammond), to Fort Canby would soon be operational. He also noted that in 1904, a 1-conductor cable was installed between Fort Stevens and Fort Canby. A new land line also linked Fort Canby to the weather station at North Head, finally connecting North Head to Portland. (

• Sound familiar? The cost of living seems steadily on the increase in Astoria, and the prices of the commonest necessaries of life are at a figure which to a purchaser seems extraordinarily high, the price of labor and other things being considered.

• L. A. Loomis (pictured inset) and others interested in the matter are moving to have a daily mail established between Astoria and Oysterville (Washington), and a tri-weekly between Astoria and Olympia (Washington). It is a much needed facility.

Note: Businessman L. A. Loomis’ vision and efforts helped make transportation options to and on the Long Beach (Washington) Peninsula available, thereby turning the peninsula into a lucrative seaside resort area. (


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