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Astoria

Astoria (ăstôrˈēə) [key]. 1 Commercial, industrial, and residential section of NW Queens borough of New York City, SE N.Y.; settled in the 17th cent. as Hallet's Cove. It was renamed for John Jacob Astor in 1839. It is an industrial and residential section and has the largest population of Greek-Americans in the United States. Several 18th-century houses remain.

2 City (1990 pop. 10,069), seat of Clatsop co., NW Oreg., on the Columbia River estuary; inc. 1876. A port of entry, Astoria is the trading center for the lower Columbia basin. The city's traditional industries—fishing, fish processing, and lumbering—largely have given way to tourism and light manufacturing. Points of interest include the Astoria Column, 125 ft (38 m) high, built in 1926 to commemorate the region's early history, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

The Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter of 1805–6 at a nearby encampment, Fort Clatsop (now part of a national historical park). Fort Astoria, a fur-trading post established in 1811 by John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, was the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. Although the post was sold to the British in 1813, its vigorous activities helped to establish American claims to the Oregon country and contributed much to the exploration of the continent. Fort Astoria was formally restored to the United States in 1818, but trade remained in British hands until the mid-1840s, when American pioneers followed the Oregon Trail to the fort. In the late 18th cent., Astoria grew as a coastal and river port; it later attracted Scandinavian settlers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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