Astoria's charming Riverfront Trolley, always a welcome sight rolling along the tracks running beside the Columbia River celebrates an important birthday this week in turning 100 years old.
Along with the Astoria Column, and the swooping roof of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Old 300 has become an icon closely associated with the town and was instantly successful after a huge volunteer effort took the old street car from it's sadly dilapidated state back to it's glory days. The Trolley was originally on loan from the San Antonio Museum of Art when it was delivered to the shops at the Clatsop Community College Merts Center and local carpenters, electricians, auto mechanics, wielders and hobbyist volunteers came together to rebuild old 300 from the ground up. The Trolley Association formed out of those people who wanted to become part of the experience of returning a working trolley to the Astoria tracks. There were plenty of challenges along the way including the puzzle of finding a way to power the electric trolley without the traditional overhead wires to provide the current. Today the Astoria Riverfront Trolley still boasts a large group of volunteers who keep it in repair and learn to operate it. Recently Astoria City Councilor Drew Herzig took the motorman course and according to Mayor Van Dusen is the first person to achieve a perfect score in testing his new skills. Many locals and visitors have enjoyed a ride and, in fact the 500,000th rider was recently welcomed aboard by city dignitaries.
On Saturday June 29th, 2013 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Barbey Maritime Center (old train depot) there will be a free pasta feed featuring music by the Brownsmead Flats, trolley displays and merchandise, silent auction, speeder rides for kids, bounce house, balloon man, the Astoria Clowns, birthday cake by Jae, and Trolley Guy Ale for purchase from the Rogue Public House.
This community-wide celebration is made possible by the efforts of the Astoria Sunday Market, the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, Tongue Point Job Corps Center, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria Lions Club, Van Dusen Beverages, Astoria Elks and the Riverfront Trolley Association, Inc.
Everyone is invited to come and help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our beloved Trolley.