Erected on Coxcomb Hill in 1926, the Astoria Column marks the spot of America's first permanent settlement west of the Rockies. Shrubbery, scrubland, parkland, and coniferous forest draw significant populations of migrating spring and fall songbirds. Early-morning visits promise sightings of hundreds of birds, among them Townshend's and hermit warbler, western tanager, and blackheaded and evening grosbeak. Walking trails descend from Coxcomb Hill to the Irving Forest and downtown Astoria.
During World War II the site was closed to the public and a blimp squadron for coastal reconnaissance controlled Coxcomb Hill. The Column reopened to the public in 1947 and a short time later the Column was sprayed with tung oil in the belief that this would improve waterproofing. This approach was repeated in 1958 and exacerbated original problems in addition to trapping dirt and lichen. By 1968 the Column had developed multiple problems including cracks on its surface and fading in the murals. The column was restored by the Friends of the Astoria Column.
From Highway 30 in Astoria, drive south on 16th Street, turn right on Jerome Street, then left on 15th Street. Turn left on Coxcomb Drive, and follow around to parking at the top.
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