Ear: Astorian

From the Thursday, July 11, 1889, edition of The Daily Morning Astorian:

• Astoria, L.I. (Long Island, New York), and Astoria, Oregon, have several Chinese gardens.

Note: According to Liisa Penner at the Clatsop County Historical Society, there were several gardens providing fresh vegetables to Chinatown and the community in the late 1800s.

One was the Astoria Chinese Gardens, at the east end of town, in the Harrison Avenue Loop area. Another was the West Astoria Chinese Gardens, near Smith Point.

“There was also one near the foot of 37th Street, and one near the Pipeline Road,” she added. “There may have been more.” (bit.ly/ChiGard)

Andrew Todd left Portland yesterday with a party to survey a tract of public land near Mishawaka.

Note: Long-gone Mishawaka was 38 miles southeast of Astoria, and 20 miles south of Olney by water, according to the 1888 Oregon State Gazetteer.

It was a farming community, Liisa Penner explained. “J.S. Dellinger’s 1896 Astoria City Directory lists 40 men there, all farmers, except for one carpenter and one blacksmith.” The population was actually higher, since women and children weren’t listed. The little town also boasted a water-powered flour mill and a post office.

Astor Anderson, the constable,” she noted, “later spent time in the penitentiary for embezzling funds from the post office, which proves that not all the interesting people in the county were from Astoria.”

• The T. J. Potter arrived from Port Townsend (Washington Territory) yesterday morning, making the trip in 21 hours.

Note: According to Mr. Wikipedia (tinyurl.com/tjpotter), the Potter (pictured, from the Matt Winters collection) was launched in Portland in 1888. At 230 feet long, the side-wheeler was considered the “last word in … elegance,” boasting a “grand saloon,” stained glass windows, and even a grand piano. She was as well known for her speed as her luxury.

In 1916, she was condemned for passenger use, and her license was revoked in 1920. Abandoned on Youngs Bay, she was burned and salvaged for her metal. What little is left of her former glory still rests on the shore of Youngs Bay.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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