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Astoria entered in Western history in 1792 when Captain Robert Gray first entered the Columbia River. After that event, other explorations included the famous expedition led by Lewis and Clark from 1803. Prior to Gray's discovery of the Astoria area, there were 10,000 years of history as Native Americans (Clatsop, Tillamook, Chinook) lived in the region hunting and fishing.
Stop by any of Astoria's museums to have a better idea of the rich and diverse history of exploration, colonization and settlement of the region.
- Columbia River Maritime Museum . The museum exhibits a comprehensive collection of model ships and marine artifacts that span centuries of the region's nautical history from simple canoes crafted by Native Americans to the sophisticated vessels of today. The museum includes six galleries, the Great Hall, the Lightship Columbia and the pilot boat Peacock (both located outside) , and four interactive displays featuring aspects of Astoria's life that the whole family will enjoy. It is located on Astoria's waterfront at 1792 Marine Drive.
- Flavel House Museum . This magnificent Victorian mansion built by Captain George Flavel in 1885 will enable people to experience what upper-class life was like more than a century ago as visitors walk around the house admiring the rooms, the furniture, the art pieces and the gardens. Located at 441 8th Street, it is open every daily.
- Heritage Museum . Built in 1904 as Astoria ’s City Hall, this building is now home to the Clatsop County Historical Society’s Heritage Museum , Research Center & Archives. Explore the history of Clatsop County through temporary and permanent exhibits featuring Native Americans, early pioneers and immigrants.
- Oregon Film Museum . Housed in the old Clatsop County Jail, the museum invites visitors to explore the films and the production behind making movies in Oregon. Wander through this building that was an actual working jail (from 1914–1976) and the scene of the famous opening jail break from The Goonies.
- Uppertown Firefighters Museum . It houses an interesting and comprehensive collection of artifacts and equipment used by Astoria firefigthers since the 19th century. This musuem has very limited seasonal hours of operation, so you will want to call before visiting. (503) 325-2203