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Friday, January 20, 2006

Another first in maritime travel

A few months ago I wrote about the Ocean liner-style hotel in NYC. Looks like a new hotel in Astoria is more my speed. The Cannery Pier Hotel is Astoria’s newest luxury boutique hotel, built on the site of the former Union Fish Cannery 600 feet into the River. The Hotel offers guests unparalleled views of a real working river, as well as views out to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and nearby Washington.

The Hotel's impressive website includes (and this is why its impressive) a page with slide shows of freighters passing the hotel and a history of the Cannery:

The Cannery Pier Hotel rests on the 100 year-old pilings that formerly supported the Union Fisherman's Cooperative Packing Company. Formed in 1897, it was the result of a turbulent time that favored big business cannery owners instead of the fishermen. Disputes with cannery owners about prices per fish started in 1876, with fishermen going on strike, and in 1880 they formed the Columbia River Fishermen's Protective Union. Tensions came to a head in 1896 when the fishermen went on strike again. Two strike-breakers were shot and more violence threatened, and the Oregon National Guard was called in to break the strike. After this, about 200 fishermen (mostly Finnish) came together, pooled their resources, and formed the Union Fisherman's Cooperative Packing Company. By 1904, it had become the largest cannery in Astoria. It remained a fishermen-owned business until the late 1940's.

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