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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Liisa Penner Astoria 2009

8th Finglish trip June 2009 #38

Liisa Penner is an Archivist at Clatsop County Historical Society in Astoria, Oregon. The Clatsop County Historical Society is an educational organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Clatsop County Oregon and the surrounding area. Built in 1904 the former Astoria's City Hall is now home to the Clatsop County Historical Society's regional museum.

The bridge across the mouth of the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington, or vice–versa, leads over Uniontown, which used to be the Finnish area of Astoria. The haali, the present-day Suomi Hall, a Finnish boarding house for single men, a sauna, a restaurant, a saloon, a doctor's surgery and other necessary services were available in the area soon after the Finns began to arrive there in the late 19th century.

Astoria was a wild place, known throughout the West Coast for its saloons and brothels. The town had 53 saloons nine of which were Finnish ”national saloons” with Finnish saloonkeepers. The other livelihoods of the regions were fishing and the fish-processing industry.

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