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Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon (~75 miles NW of Portland, at the mouth of the Columbia River). There were 2 or 3 Croatians in Astoria before 1880 but the first who seems to have stuck around was Nick Devich (also spelled Davich and Devisch) who owned a restaurant there in 1881. The City Directory of 1890 lists 14 Croatians (see below), mostly from Vis and Kotor (Montenegro). Most were fishermen; a few were saloon keepers and cooks.

Below is a partial list of resources I found in a recent trip to Astoria. We are looking for this type of information for other communities where Croatians have congregated. If you have something we can use, please contact us. Here's our email address.


Clatsop County Historical Society
1618 Exchange St., PO Box 88
Astoria, OR 97103
503/338-4849; Fax: 503/338-6265
Liisa Penner, Curator
Photo of front of building.

Liisa is also in charge of the Archive Room (located at the address above) which has many old records. You should contact Liisa first and describe what you are looking for. She will then advise the best way to proceed.

Partial list of resources located at the Archive:

Polk's Astoria City and Clatsop County Directory, 1890:

(complete list of Croatians)
Antonich, Antonio; fisherman; Upper Astoria
Banich, Samuel; fisherman; Eagle C. Co., Alderbrook
Beccerich, Frank; longshoreman; 72 Washington St.
Dragolich, John; fisherman; crn. Wall and Salmon Sts.
Franciscovich, Cosmos; saloon; 760 3rd, res. same
Gurich, Bloss [probably Vlaho]; fisherman; Wall St. btw. 3rd and 4th
Gurich, Chris; fisherman; Wall St. btw. 3rd and 4th
Lubrich, Martin; cook, Uniontown
Pavlovich, Matteo; fisherman, Upper Astoria
Pedrovich, John; fisherman; 622 3rd St.
Stiglich, Vincent; cook
Tonetich, John; fisherman; Alderbrook
Vragnizan, Vincengen; fisherman; Upper Astoria [
Vranjican, probably from Hvar]
Zarich, Vincent (Malagamba & Zarich); saloon

In the 1893-4 Directory are also listed (as well as most of the above):

Banich, M.; fisherman; Fisherman's Packaging Co.
Batchan, Peter; carpenter; 622 3rd St. [probably Bac"an]
Fitcha, John; fisherman; A.P. Co.
Lazaervich, S.; fisherman; Union Cannery [probably Lazarevic']
Maletich, C.; fisherman; A.P. Co.
Stanovich, M.; fisherman; Union Cannery
Vragnizon, John; fisherman 338 W. 5th St. [
Vranjican, probably from Hvar]
Vranich, Martin; fisherman; Hanthorn Co.


Other resources in the Archive:

--Many other City Directories

--School yearbooks

--Personal scrapbooks

--Hotel registers

--Lists of Electors (registered voters)

--Local history books that mention Croatians (partial list):
--Living Off the Pacific Ocean Floor by George Moskovita, (photo of cover)
--Last of the Rivermen by Ray Fadich, (photo of cover)

--Index to Declarations of Intent, Clatsop County, Oregon, 1850-1888, (photo of cover)

--Police Registers (here are some excerpts from the Registers):
29 Nov. 1903: Louey Strebelich, $8 fine, drunk
6 Sep. 1905: A. Marincovich, $10 bail, fighting
30 Aug. 1910: J. Matkovich (pick pocket), Joe Bog[y]anich (pick pocket), Geo Radovich (suspicious); all three were "released for want of proof"
14 Sep 1911: Mike Kneznevich, larceny, arrested by Officer Bakotich
14 Sep 1911: Chris Covich, disorderly, arrested by Bakotich

--Taped interviews with old-timers (there may be others):
Peter Cosovich (who was the mayor of Astoria from 1951-58)
George Moskovita, "fisherman, author, Yugoslav"
Tony Antonich (maybe the same Antonich who was listed in the 1890 City Directory; see above)

--Article in CUMTUX (Clatsop County Historical Society Quarterly), Vol. 19, No. 3, 1999. "Remembering Astoria" by John Pincetich. Mentions the old Yugoslav neighborhood in Astoria and some families that lived there: Zankich, Marincovich, Danielovich, Dragolich [the author's g-parents who were from Kotor, Montenegro]. Also mentioned in the article are Franciscovich, Cosovich, Kuzmanich, Mardesich, Ruljancich, Kukura[s], and Pincetich [from Vis]. There is a quote from a 1917 newspaper article that mentions Uroda, Stipcich, Gelacich, Cetina, Andrich, Stanich, Zancic, Ivicevich and Makal as officers of the St. Nicholas Lodge.

--1900 Clatsop County Voter Registration. This shows "Astoria" and "not Astoria" voters. It is sorted several ways; one way is by place of birth. Under "AUS" (for Austria; all Croatians were listed as Austrians in those days) are:

Astoria (name, occupation, age):
Ilich, Antoni, butcher, 54
Blasich, John, cook, 24
Katurich, Nick, cook, 39
Kinkela, Joseph, cook, 48
Margitich, George, cook, 54
Persich, John, cook, 44
Sunich, Nicolo, cook, 39
Proll, Joseph, carpenter, 36
Antonich, Anton, fshmn, 43
Berberovich, Thomas, fshmn, 40
Cernetich, Albino, fshmn, 33
Dentch, Peter, fshmn, 50
Dorcich, Peter, fshmn, 29
Dragolich, John, fshmn, 48
Fincich, Mattio, fshmn, 45
Franetovich, M.G., fshmn, 41
Lucelo, Martell, fshmn, 48
Makelle, Giovanni, fshmn, 29
Plancich, Nick, fshmn, 21
Politeo, Peter, fshmn, 27
Talianovich, Stepan, fshmn, 34
Turina, Charles, fshmn, 43
Veronese, Antonio, fshmn, 45
Vranich, Martin, fshmn, 55
Vranzeario, John, fshmn, 50
Franciscovich, Martin, keeper, 33
Zarich, Vincent, laborer, 40
Franciscovich, Cosmo, 52
Barberovich, Dan, restaurant, 31
Pavletich, Frank, waiter, 21
Potrata, Cosmo, waiter, 44

Not Astoria (name, age):
Bartucevich, John, 32
Giurich, Luca, 29
Kulgis, Antone, 38
Mardesich, Antone, 23
Mardesich, Vilson, 35
Marincovich, Andro, 38
Pasalich, Jack, 46
Pecharich, Nick, 34
Radich, Lucas, 32
Ripanich, Filip, 36
Stanovich, George, 33
Stanovich, Nicholas, 50
Vlastelica, Borthal, 34
Vlastelica, Rudolph, 24
Zakich, Peter, 35
Bercovich, Geovani, 26
Evanovich, L.D., 48

From naturalization records in the Clatsop County Courthouse, Recorder's Office. After 1906 these records show place of birth. These records may eventually wind up in the state archive in Salem.

--Mitchell, Kuljis, born 16 Oct. 1877 in Lisa, Dalmatia, Austria.

--Stephan Kukura, born 18 Jul 1882 in Lissa, Delmatia, Austria; witnessed by Vincent Bakotich and Sam Gelsilich.

--Peter Dorcich, born 16 Jun 1871 in Bescannova, Austria; immigrated from Rio de Janeiro in 1891; Wife: Mary; no children; living at 378 Taylor in Astoria; fisherman; gives signature.

--Nicola Mardesich, born 27 Nov 1883 in Comiza, Austria [Komiz"a, Vis].