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Mail Tribune 100, May 29, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

May 29, 1919


Astoria, Ore., May 29.— Not until the nation goes dry on June 30 and perhaps not then will the troubles of the authorities of Astoria and other northern Pacific ports with the bootleggers of California be over. Ever since the state of Oregon was captured by the prohibitionists trafficking in contraband liquors has been carried on between San Francisco and the Columbia river ports, more especially Astoria because of the numerous natural advantages afforded for the safe delivery of the wet goods.

The authorities here, in their efforts to run down the bootleggers, have reached hundreds of lumber carrying steamers and schooners, the vessels plying regularly between San Francisco and Columbia river ports as well as the ships making occasional calls at these ports, their last previous stop having been some southern port. Their tireless efforts have made the path of the carrier of contraband an anxious one, and their efforts have brought thousands of dollars into the municipal and county treasuries. But there has been much of the contraband liquor which has escaped their vigilance.

One of the favorite ways of evading the authorities is to toss the contraband overboard at a designated point at the mouth of the river where it is picked up by the person in collusion with the custodian from San Francisco to the Columbia river port. Then it is “fished” up and sold at from $15 to $25 a quart. The price delivered at Astoria runs from $90 to $120 a case, but that is for bonded goods.


From end to end, the Pacific highway will be paved a width of 16 feet wide. This was the decision of the state highway commission yesterday when two contracts awarded on a basis of a 12-foot pavement were changed to a 16-foot pavement. While a 16-foot pavement, with two foot shoulders on each side has been the standard for the state construction, two stretches were narrowed for financial reasons.

Oskar Huber, who has the Siskiyou section, offered to reduce his bid to $500 a mile, or a total of $6,000, if the commission would broaden the 12-foot road to 16 feet. This proposition was accepted, on motion of Commissioner Booth, who explained that the finances were such that a 16-foot pavement could be laid, based on the prices which have been submitted by contractors since the April meeting. Bids opened yesterday were lower than those received in April, and the same satisfactory trend was observed in the big batch of contracts let in the first May meeting.

A four mile section between Wolf creek and Grave creek had been awarded to the Warren Construction company on a 12-foot basis. A. J. Hill, representing the company, was summoned and asked what he would do if the road were widened four feet. He agreed to knock off $250 a mile for the four miles, and Commissioner Thompson moved that this section be made standard width. These sections, broadened to standard, the entire Pacific highway will be a 16-foot road from the California line to Portland. The 16-foot width has been adopted on the lower Columbia highway. — Portland Oregonian.

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