By Elleda Wilson
Posted: April 22, 2011
Inspired by an earlier In One Ear story about an old singed beam from the Dec. 8, 1922 ASTORIA FIRE being found in a basement on 10th Street, Astorian PATTI LUPTON showed the Ear a copy of the front page of THE MORNING ASTORIAN, published Saturday, Dec. 9, 1922. The headline screams, “Fire Demons Ravage Astoria!”
She has the back page, too, as both pages are laminated back to back. Both sides are pictured, above. Patti bought the paper at an estate sale some time ago.
Looting was a problem the day after the fire. “One of the unfortunate instances in connection with the fire yesterday was the looting of the Eagle Drug Store, at the corner of Eighth and Commercial streets, by a gang of hoodlums … to carry away some of the more valuable articles in stock. A number of Kodaks, fountain pens and vials of expensive perfumery were taken by the raiders, as well as practically the entire stock of cigars and cigarettes.”
However, the overall tone of the paper was upbeat. A General Relief Committee to help citizens displaced by the fire was formed, and there were notices of free lunches for the hungry and reports of many offers of aid and supplies. Portland’s Mayor Baker even arrived by train to help.
The editorial, on the bottom of the front page, ended on a positive note. “Let every citizen unite with the common purpose to advance, to grow again; let none lag; let none be dismayed. Every Astorian should echo the cry of those who … made their slogan of two simple words: ‘Let’s Go.’”
Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.