Proposed dam site

1969 — The site of the proposed earth-filled dam on the Klaskanine River is in central Clatsop County, about 15 miles from both Seaside and Astoria.

10 years ago this week — 2009

Jewell schools were closed and Knappa and some other districts delayed classes today as winter’s latest snowfall meant hazardous and unpleasant driving conditions around the North Coast.

Law enforcement agencies were on alert to traffic problems while the U.S. Coast Guard warned of the need for fishermen to take extra care on the ocean and in the Columbia River.

The wealth of the first residents at Station Camp suggests that a tribal chief or close relative might have lived there.

“The amount of wealth items found at this site suggests that either a close relative of Concomly or Concomly himself lived here,” said archaeologist Doug Wilson.

The mouth of the Columbia River was a major trading location long before Lewis and Clark arrived — and long before the first tall-masted ships sailed up and down the West Coast.

The Chinook Indians held a near monopoly in fur trade along the Columbia. They controlled all the trade going in and out of the river. No one came through without trading with Chinooks. And historic records show they were accomplished traders.

The arrival of the large sailing ships changed the Northwest.

“Two hundred years ago, events changed the course of history of the Northwest,” said Wilson at Thursday night’s Columbia Forum. “It changed from a Stone Age culture to one affected by the Industrial Revolution.”

50 years ago — 1969

A dam on the North Fork of the Klaskanine River to increase fish hatchery production was proposed to the State Water Resources Board in Astoria Monday. The response was favorable.

“This would be the salvation of the salmon industry, in my opinion,” said board member La Selle Coles after the proposal was made by Larry Snyder, chairman of the Clatsop Water Resources Board.

Snyder said his board proposes a 83-foot-high earth-fill dam, six miles east of the State Fish Commission hatchery on the Klaskanine River. The 1966 cost estimate of such a project was $259,000. A feasibility study to determine where and how the dam should be built would cost some $25,000, he said.

Proponents of a water-level route between Skamokawa, Wash., and the northern end of the Astoria Bridge said Rep. Alan Thompson would introduce a bill in the Washington Legislature this week calling for construction of the new route.

The petition states that the following benefits will follow construction: Shorten distance between Vancouver and the coast by 20 miles; eliminate a crooked highway over KM hill; provide a new scenic drive; improve highway safety and increase use of Washington highways.

The Port of Astoria Commission approved a resolution Tuesday night calling for rerouting highway 30 around Astoria to the south.

The resolution said the fact that the highway now goes through the business-industrial section of Astoria means “large transient commercial vehicles hauling over the main business districts of the city of Astoria, constituting a dangerous and congested situation to exist.”

The commissioners said relocating the highway east and south of the business-industrial district with adequate provisions with access to the city, would relieve, if not eliminate, congestion.

75 years ago — 1944

Among the recommendations made by the house naval affairs subcommittee investigating congested areas on the Columbia River district was one recommending that the federal housing project in this vicinity be made available to servicemen and their families; another that the navy should provide housing quarters in close proximity to the new naval hospital for medical officers and maintenance personnel; another that rail transportation between Astoria and Seaside should be improved either by establishment of an additional train between the two points or by a revision of the schedule to provide transportation from Seaside in the morning and back in the evening; and a final recommendation that drydock facilities be expanded in this area and utilized fully by the armed services.

Coast guardsmen from the Point Adams station at Hammond tried without success to dislodge the fishing boat Electra from her sandy trap on Clatsop spit again last night.

It was the fourth try to re-float the big Seattle deep sea boat, and guardsmen have employed every known method to refloat the boat, or to pull her off the sand. Last night the tender Rose was brought into play as a tug.

The Electra went aground in early evening January 26. She has not been subjected to much heavy seas during her sojourn on the beach, and is thus not breaking up, although some seams have opened. Although hope of salvaging the boat is waning, it is not entirely abandoned.

Joseph Migliore and Donald J. Gavin, crew members on a naval unit at the Astoria port docks, escaped with minor injuries when a car which they “borrowed” from the Ginn funeral home went on a wild plunge at the Hellberg drug store corner early this morning.

The car sheared off an 18-inch Pacific Power & Light company pole, knocked down a mail box, sideswiped another automobile belonging to the Columbia River Packers Association, uprooted a water hydrant and demolished a neon sign, the front entrance doorway and plate glass window of the drug store.

Both were in the city jail today awaiting action by civil and naval authorities.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Daily Astorian. Contact him at

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