I drive past Fort George Brewery nearly every day on my drive to work and every time I do, the same thought crosses my mind: what on earth are those green lines painted on the road and do they serve a purpose?
Well, I got so curious that I decided to look into it and delved into Astoria’s vast and fascinating history.
What I learned was that those green lines mark where the original building for Fort George was built way back on April 12, 1811 by the Astor Expedition. The old building sat right on what is now 15th street and between Duane St. and Franklin Ave. until 1825 when the fort was abandoned and the building began to decay, allowing the Astoria we all know and love to be built on top of it. The lines have been on the road for many years and were recently repainted to celebrate Astoria’s Bicentennial in 2011.
During the active time of the fort, it was sold to the British in 1813 to avoid capture during the War of 1812 and was then renamed from Fort Astoria to Fort George in honor of the British King George III. It was reclaimed by the United States in 1818, but kept the name.
After the original fort was long decayed, the Lovell Building was built in it’s place as the Lovell Auto Co., an automobile dealership and repair company, in 1921. Then the fire of 1922 happened, and the Lovell building became a public house where it had an arcade and a movie theater. In 1924 the Fort George Building was erected on the original settlement site of Fort Astoria, operating as an automotive repair shop through the early 1990’s. Briefly abandoned and sadly neglected, the Fort George Building has been revitalized and is now home to the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Fort George Brewery Public House ( http://fortgeorgebrewery.com/about/).
Today, Fort George is a wonderful place to go and have dinner with the family or have a drink or go to watch live music, but the people of Astoria and Clatsop County will never forget the incredible history behind that piece of land and the rich history behind our little town. If you would like more information about Fort George, I would highly recommend visiting their little historical site behind the building on The Exchange St. There is a wonderful mural and multiple little plaques with information. The Fort George Brewery website also has some great information in their About section at http://fortgeorgebrewery.com/about/.