From The Daily Morning Astorian, Saturday, March 1, 1890:
• The house of C.W. Durr at Grays River narrowly escaped destruction by fire yesterday morning. A fortunate accident delayed the steamer Rival, and her passengers saw the fire and put it out after the roof and some of the furniture had been burned.
• Work began yesterday on the motor line to Smith’s Point (currently Port of Astoria Pier 3), an important enterprise. This is a sure thing; no talk, but work. A telegram yesterday says 150 tons of iron are on the way. This will lay 3 miles of road. The work will be pushed to successful completion.
Note: A cable railway deal fell through, but in June 1890, Judge Frank Taylor’s Bay Railway Co. started running a steam dummy (a locomotive disguised as a passenger car) that went 3 miles from around Smith’s Point to new housing tracts on Youngs Bay. (bit.ly/smithcar)
• Lots in Tract 3 of the beautiful suburb of Chelsea, only five minutes’ walk from the steamer landing at Skipanon and terminus of A&SCR (Astoria & South Coast Railway). … Prices from $60 ($1,650 now).
Note: Chelsea is lost to the ages. By 1891, the A&SCR had expanded, and operated from Skipanon (across from Astoria, on Youngs Bay) all the way to Seaside. (bit.ly/ascrailway)
• The wrecker Whiteclaw is doing some work around the Astoria docks. Yesterday with her divers and apparatus a safe was raised off the Telephone’s wharf, belonging to Foard & Stokes, and part of a stove in front of the U.P. dock.
Note: Diving? Yes, believe it or not, the equipment was already in existence. In 1842, when he was 22, James Buchanan Eads (pictured, inset) invented a salvage boat he called a submarine, but it was really a surface vessel he used to descend from in a diving bell, that he also created, to do salvage work while walking around on the Mississippi River bottom. He recovered enough valuable lost cargo to become a very wealthy man. (bit.ly/eadsdive)