Town, port, and administrative headquarters of Clatsop County, northwest Oregon, USA; population (2000) 9,800. It is situated on the Columbia River, across from the state of Washington, and 13 km/8 mi southeast of its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. The city of Portland is 113 km/70 mi to the southeast. An important port, it is also a trade centre for a farming, fishing, and lumbering region. It has a significant fishing industry, with salmon and tuna canneries, and tourism is also vital to its economy. It is home to the Clatsop Community College (1858).
Astoria was the site of the first permanent settlement in Oregon. It was founded by John Jacob Astor as a fur trading post in 1811, and was held by the British from 1813–18. In the 1840s US settlers turned the town into the trading centre of the lower Columbia Valley. Salmon canning, sawmills, dairy processing, and shipping all fuelled its 19th- and early-20th-century prosperity.
A noted local landmark is the 38 m/125 ft–tall Astor Column on Coxcomb Hill. 10 km/6 mi to the southwest is Fort Clatsop National Memorial, a reconstruction of the fort in which Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent the winter of 1805–06.
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