In the seaside town of Astoria sits Pier 39, a historic 133-year-old pier that sits out on the Columbia River. For us, the draw initially was the Rogue Public House.
Don’t confuse this with the Pier 39 in San Francisco. While the Astoria may one day hope to have the same in tourist trade, the day we went, it was free from the crush of visitors. In order to get there, you actually have to driver over a wooden roadway. Good thing they have spared no expense in its restoration.
We made a stop at a Mecca for devoted beer drinkers, the Rogue Public House. After some food and a few beers, we were off to explore the rest of the pier.
Once upon a time in America, we actually had a booming fishing trade. Cannery Row in Monterey was actually the center of a sardine fishing community prior to becoming the home to the Monterey Aquarium . And Pier 39 in Astoria was home to the Bumble Bee Seafoods cannery. This has to be one of the greatest corporate logos of all time.
The machines on the factory floor have been silent for a long time now, probably victims of globalization and a cheap labor force somewhere overseas. One of the walls has the signatures of all the former employees. I have a lot of respect for Allen Cellors. I can’t imagine canning fish for forty-six years straight. He started his job when FDR was president and made it all the way to Regan.
The real draw to Pier 39 is the view at the end of the pier. Seated out in the mouth of the Columbia River, the pier offers a commanding vantage point. This is the kind of place where you could take a picture every day for a year and never get the same one twice.