Columbia River Maritime Museum
1792 Marine Drive
Astoria, OR 97103
URL: Columbia River Maritime Museum
Phone: (503) 325-2323
Discover the history and intrigue of one of the most tumultuous seafaring zones in the Pacific Northwest. The entire west coast is littered with shipwrecks, but this area is home to the notorious Columbia River Bar.
This bar, located where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, earned the nickname "The Graveyard of the Pacific". It sank over 2,000 vessels and cost 700 people their lives. The Columbia River Maritime Museum explores this fascinating history in-depth from its earliest explorers to an interactive shipwreck map that illustrates the loss through wind and wave over the last 200 years.
You can also see two restored ship's carronade at the museum. These two cannon were found on the beach and part of the 1846 wreck of the USS Shark. This ship was one of the victims of the Columbia Bar. It ran aground as it attempted to leave after touring the territory. Not surprising, since waves in the area can reach 40 feet!
The museum also houses the Lightship Columbia—a National Historic Landmark. This floating lighthouse guarded the mouth of the Columbia River from 1951 until 1979. She is the first Oregon vessel on the National Register and you can tour it with museum admission.