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Water Under the Bridge: ‘Unbelievable’ rationing program in 1943

Published on February 28, 2018 10:24AM

Drawing shows the planned Terra Mar recreational development on the Long Beach peninsula.

Drawing shows the planned Terra Mar recreational development on the Long Beach peninsula.

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10 years ago this week — 2008

Two pieces of naval antiquity were revealed for public consumption for the first time since being discovered.

A group of approximately 80 people gathered Tuesday at the maintenance shop at Nehalem Bay State Park in Manzanita to watch the unveiling of the cannons, which were submerged in saltwater and covered with burlap after being reclaimed Feb. 19.

According to park staff, the tanks will be drained weekly with more and more fresh water being infused into the tanks to slowly wean the cannons off their saltwater dependency.

“We have been very fortunate to be involved with two very, very important artifacts,” said Larry Oswald, a park ranger.

Shelley Parker, interpretive ranger for the park, confirmed what has already been circulated — the cannons are believed to be from the USS Shark. She said there was plenty of evidence to support this supposition, including the location descriptions of the wreckage given by the crew of the Shark, all of whom survived the 1846 wreck that left the cannons on the beach.

First a new boat, then a new helicopter?

As the Columbia River Bar Pilots await their new pilot boat Columbia, the lighter, speedier version of the existing model expected to arrive this spring, they’re also hoping for state funding that will help them purchase a new helicopter.

The pilots have requested $5.7 million from ConnectOregonII to help them fund a more efficient version of the helicopter they use to deliver pilots to inbound and outbound ships on the Columbia River.

50 years ago — 1968

Orville M. Wilmot, President of Terra Mar, a division of Sherwood Pacific, announced today the authorization of sale of land for a $30 million recreational development on the Long Beach Peninsula near Ilwaco. This 1440-acre development will offer recreation and leisure living for the vacationer, conventioneer and senior citizen.

Located on Highway 101 on the Long Beach Peninsula, Terra Mar stretches across the entire peninsula from the Pacific ocean to Willapa Bay. Close to the large population areas of the Pacific Northwest. Terra Mar extends across forests and dunes, bounded on one side by 1 1/4 miles of sandy beach and the surf of the Pacific ocean ... on the other by 2 1/4 miles of frontage on Willapa Bay. Between ocean and bay will run a network of canals, connecting the areas with an inland lake. Dredging has already started on the complex of canals.

“We are attempting to look as far ahead into the future as possible,” said Wilmot. “We are anticipating a need for helicopter service into our project that will serve commuters between Terra Mar and Portland and possibly Seattle. A heliport can be built on top of our motel, so that people may spend an evening, a day or a week at Terra Mar.”

One of the major proposed projects will be the construction of a marina complex that will include a luxury high rise motel that features a gourmet dining room and lounge. A convention center is also planned that will accommodate 1,600 people.

Also planned for Terra Mar are paddocks and bridle paths, sites for permanent mobile homes, condominiums, beach clubs and private homes facing the ocean on one side and Willapa Bay on the other, along with a shopping center and an airstrip.

75 years ago — 1943

With nothing less than astonishment, Astoria food store operators today are surveying the provisions of the food point rationing system, under which they will do their merchandising next week.

“Unbelievable,” was the statement of a representative Astoria grocer today when asked what he thought of the rationing program. “It means at least a 30 percent cut in our total volume of sales of rationed and so far un-rationed foodstuffs,” he added.

Packers on the Columbia River processed a record-breaking 309,500 cases of albacore in 1942, received 11,000,000 pounds of the valuable fish and paid fishermen more than $2,175,000 in the greatest tuna season of all time here.

Thus an industry, which before 1937 was unheard of, booms into maturity and more firmly fixes Astoria in a position of leadership among fishing centers of the Pacific coast. Albacore were discovered first in 1937, but only an experimental case was packed, and most of the catch that season was shipped to southern California canneries by rail. In 1938 an estimated pack of 110,000 cases was put up by local packers, the Columbia River Packers Association taking the lead, followed by Columbia Rive Salmon company and the Sebastian-Stuart company in Washington.

The brief jaunt to the school ration board is over for Mrs. Astoria housewife. Now before Monday when canned goods go on sale again, she must sit down with pencil and point plan chart in hand to discover just what changes this war time program will mean in the planning of her daily menus.

The first juggling of 14’s, 16’s and 32’s together to reach the precious 48 point allowance per person brings the keen realization that now it’s a question of what a family can’t have, rather than what it can. Aside from baby food, which takes only one point, and sauerkraut (liberty cabbage of World War I) assessed at five or eight points depending on size of can, a rare taste of most of the familiar canned fruits and vegetables will be all that’s allowed.

For instance, if a married couple with 96 points to spend, is accustomed to tomato or grapefruit juice for breakfast, they’ll either have to change this dietary habit or else spend all of their coupons in this way. Four of the large (2 lb. 14 oz.) cans of tomato juice would take more than the quota or 128 points, while four cans of grapefruit juice takes 92. If this couple depends greatly upon canned soups for a hurried lunch or evening snack, the quota would allow five cans of soup (at six points each), two cans of green beans, two cans of corn and one can of grapefruit.


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