May 15th, 2012
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon launched a campaign to renovate the former SP&S railroad depot in Astoria. The museum acquired the old depot in the late 1980s. It primarily has been used for storage since that time. Now, with plans to renovate the depot in cooperation with Clatsop Community College’s historic preservation program, the museum not only hopes to upgrade a physical asset, but to use it to house an innovative wooden boatbuilding school.
Part of the museum’s business plan for the enterprise is to use the facility to become the sole domestic manufacturer of copper rivets for traditional wooden boat construction. It is hoped that proceeds from the sale of copper rivets will provide a sustainable funding mechanism for the boatbuilding school well into the future. The grand vision for the scheme, according to CRMM Executive Director Sam Johnson, is to construct a replica fleet of traditional Columbia River sailing gillnet boats, such as those which plied the waters of the Columbia River more than a hundred years ago.
The museum’s 50th anniversary and plans for depot renovation received extensive coverage in local and regional newspapers. Links to coverage in the Oregonian on Thursday, May 10, 2012, and to a Daily Astorian video of the historic renovation program on YouTube are provided below.