Re: PNWR Clatsop discontinuance
Author: Astoria memories
Date: 01-11-2020 - 19:16
I lived in Astoria for a year and a half, around '95-'96. these memories are from that time frame.
In all that time I remember only once a BN GP7 or 9 came all the way into Astoria with a boxcar. I think the car actually went to a customer. Then a loco came back days later to pick it up. That was the only train action I saw the entire time.
I also remember a BN B&B crew stationed in Astoria for a little while to replace wood planks on the trestled area near downtown. I chatted with one of the guys on that crew about what they were doing.
I'm convinced the ILWU scared off a lot of potential marine traffic from the port. I think the Longshoremen required 4 hours pay just to tie up a barge or vessel. One shipper was building a barge landing near Warrenton just get away from the ILWU and the port. Heard about it from a friend whose dad was a longshoreman. Probably the longshoremen picketed that job as they did the Wauna mill.
Back then Astoria dreamed about becoming a busy port the same way Humboldt Bay tries to. But it just never happened. If Port of Astoria could have run the ILWU off, then maybe it could have become something.
Once I pulled off the highway in Knappa and a wigwag was swinging away on its own, no train in site. An electrical problem I guess?
I remember a house at Clatskanie for the bridge tender. The house was demolished sometime after that.
Oh yeah, the attitudes of loggers and mill guys back then is pretty well captured by Erik H above.
The county fair was old fashioned fun. Astoria was run down and a little salty back then, but it was genuine and real. I liked it. Oh yeah, I remember a strip bar downtown called the Rec Tavern and the two women who worked there. When it closed I heard they put a coffin outside the door, and rest in peace or something on it. Maybe the soul of Astoria died then... haha.