As our conversation continued, I told him that as a thirty-plus year resident of coastal Oregon,
I hardly even noticed them. To me, the old pilings are as much a part of the river as the water and the rocks. I could tell that he was still unimpressed.
Finally, I explained that many of these piling date back to the 1870 and once supported one of the thirty-nine canneries that once lined the lower Columbia River. I further explained that in large measure, they were a large part of the local history and surely he was not advocating the removal of local history. At this point, he smiled and thanked me for my time.
My photo depicts how the"bones" of the Samuel Elmore Cannery appeared on a warm and hazy morning in July of 2009. The concrete structure that dominates the image once housed the oil storage tank which kept the cannery's massive boiler operating. Is it history or junk, you decide.