Created in 2011 in celebration of Astoria’s bicentennial, Astor’s People tells the harrowing story of the founding of Astoria, the first permanent US settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, and the significant successes that followed.
In 1810, wealthy New Yorker John Jacob Astor commissioned two parties—one overland and one by sea—to travel to the other side of the continent and set up an outpost at the mouth of the Columbia River. Here, Astor hoped to exploit the existing networks of trade and take control of the lucrative northwest fur trading industry. Though plagued by a series of misfortunes that included multiple lives lost and at least one case of insanity, members of these expeditions established Astoria, named for its financier, the following year.
This remote outpost became the first permanent US settlement west of the Rocky Mountains and laid the foundations for what would become the City of Astoria.