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Heroes and rascals ...
shipwrecks and lost gold  ...

Welcome to Offbeat Oregon History, a public-history resource for the state we love. Here's what you'll find here:

  • A weekly newspaper column published in about a dozen Oregon community newspapers;
  • An archive of columns we've published since 2008, with pictures (arranged by date of first publication);
  • A daily podcast (7 to 12 minutes long) optimized for mobile-device listening via iTunes, Stitcher, or the podcatcher of your choice;
  • An active Facebook page and Twitter feed to help stay in touch.

Enjoy! And if you have any comments on stories, suggestions for column topics or other feedback — or if you're coming by the OSU campus and have time for a cup of coffee with a fellow history dork — drop me a note at fj-@-offbeatoregon-dot-com any time!

About Pulp-Lit Productions:

Offbeat Oregon is a division of Pulp-Lit Productions, a boutique publishing house that specializes in classics from the pulp-magazine era — roughly 1910 to 1941. For more information or to check out our catalog, please see


Background photo of the beach at Whale Cove was made by Bryce Buchanan in 2004. (Via WikiMedia Commons, cc/by/SA)




Astoria is rich in legends of lost gold, hidden treasure

By Finn J.D. John
October 1, 2021

THE CITY AND environs of Astoria strike most visitors as the kind of place where pirate loot might be stashed away.

Certainly it seems to have struck Steven Spielberg that way, back in the early 1980s, when the legendary pirate-treasure film The Goonies was being shot.

But the town may actually have come by this impression honestly. There are still a few stories about hidden treasure in and around Astoria -- not counting the silver-screen “Goon Docks” story of “One-Eyed Willy.”

And who knows? One or two of them may actually be true.


This article is still under its initial two-month embargo, during which participating newspapers have exclusive rights to it. Then, on June 11, 2021, the rest of this article will appear here!

In the meantime, you can probably find it published on the Website of one of our member newspapers or community radio stations. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for supporting your community newspapers and radio stations!

(Jump to top of next column)

The Astoria Column from the west side of the top of Coxcomb Hill. (Image: Jennifer Deal)

(Sources: Treasure Hunting Northwest, a book by Ruby El Hult published in 1971 by Binfords & Mort; “George Flavel(1823?-1893),” an article by William Stack published in the Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon Encyclopedia in August 2020)

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