A little-known fact about Astoria is that in 1880, about a third of the town’s population was Chinese. Canneries along the Columbia River employed almost entirely Chinese laborers, who cleaned, chopped, cooked, and canned salmon. In 1883, the combined output of the 39 canneries along the Columbia exceeded 42 million pounds.
Chinese immigrants also worked in laundries and grocery stores, built riverfront dike systems, and were instrumental in constructing the railroad. They were often given the most dangerous jobs, and to make things worse, they endured a lot of prejudice, culminating with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred any further Chinese immigration for 10 years.
The contributions of the Chinese to Oregon's coastal economy and history have largely been ignored, but the city of Astoria is mending that oversight now with the development of a new Chinese Heritage Park. City staff and the Chinese Heritage Park Committee have been working together on the park project, which combines modern design with traditional aspects of Chinese culture. The park will take form at Ninth and Astor streets, near where the canneries once stood in Astoria’s former Chinatown district.
"The whole community is rallying to celebrate the contributions and the pioneering spirit that the Chinese had in coming to Astoria," says Kevin Beck, Astoria's director of Parks and Community Services.
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As you peruse this issue, you'll notice we've given a lot of attention to traveling with dogs on the coast. This made Liz Dodge, our South Coast sales rep and dog-trainer extraordinaire, quite happy! Liz's amazing family of Australian shepherds and Border Collies (all of whom she rescued from unhappy circumstances) win agility awards in regional competitions and have even made it to the nationals.
You'll also find our annual Mile-by-Mile Guide to Highway 101 in this issue. We've done a redesign this year, but everything you need is still right here - plus some new additions. As you're traveling the coast, take note of our unique historic bridges, the "jewels of the Oregon Coast," and don’t forget to stop for some salt water taffy. Ross West has compiled a list of candy shops where they pull and fold that delectable confection right on the premises. It's an Oregon Coast tradition not to be missed.