The historic significance of the area dates back to its distinction as the
site of the Western terminus of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the fact that Astoria is considered to be the oldest permanent
American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains...its origins dating back to 1811. Although at one time in the 1920's,
the presence of its then booming local industries, among them logging, fishing and canning, led some observers to deem it
"the future New York of the Pacific" and predicted skyscrapers would soon be towering over the river.
However, that prediction never panned out and those once booming industries fell
into a steep decline during the depression years, and for many years, Astoria remained a relatively small, and somewhat nondescript
town. And even though, it was deemed by one critic as nothing more than a once-gritty Columbia River town, today it
has evolved into a bustling enclave with an energy and sense of excitement that is attracting a broad range of economic diversity
and capital infusion.
In fact, to a great extent, it
was the presence of the cultural diversity that arrived during the early 1900's in the form of immigrants from China, Scandinavia
and Finland that has contributed to Astoria today being seen as a tourist center with a growing arts community and a mix of
ethnic restaurants and eclectic shopping venues.
capital investment has flowed into the area in recent years and resulting in such notable facilities as the Cannery Pier Hotel,
the Hotel Elliot and the Liberty Theater, as well as a growing number of trendy, new dining spots, quaint boutiques and charming
bed and breakfast inns.