No votes cast

Astoria-Megler Ferry


Ferry leaving Astoria, Oregon, for Megler, Washington, crossing the Columbia River, 1951

This is a photograph of the Astoria ferry leaving the landing at Astoria in Clatsop County. The ferry, named the M.R. Chessman, is crossing the Columbia River headed for Megler, Washington.

Oregon State Archives, Oregon Department of Transportation, #OHD4968

View this photo at photos.salemhistory.net

BH Photo #221150

Street View 

Ferry Roster 

Compiled by Michael Goff

Tourist: 1921-1930's (Astoria McGowan Ferry Company) - Eventually moved from the Astoria-Megler route to the Wahkiakum Ferry route between Westport, Oregon and Puget Island, Washington. Last know to be in operation in 1949.

Tourist II: 1924-1966 (Astoria McGowan Ferry Company/OSHD) - Sold to Pierce County and renamed "Islander of Pierce County". Retired as ferry in 1996 and sold to a private owner and is still used as a tour boat on Lake Washington. Currently named "MV Kirkland"

North Beach: 1927-1932 (Union Pacific Railroad/Stewart) First ferry built by the U.P.R.R. to compete with Astoria McGowan Ferry Company. After three years of financial losses the U.P.R.R. sold out and the ferry was ran for another two years by Captain Calvin Stewart. After 1932 the North Beach was used as a freight transport on the Columbia River until it was scrapped in 1948.

Tourist III: 1933-1966 (Astoria McGowan Ferry Company/OSHD) - Sold to a private fishing company and converted into a floating crab cannery. The vessel was renamed the "Princess Roxane" and has more than likely been scrapped.

M.R. Chessman: 1948-1966 (Oregon State Highway Department) - Sold to the U.S. Army for service in Vietnam on the Mekong Delta. The vessel was renamed "Lieu Lo II".

Kitsap: 1962-1966 (Oregon State Highway Department) Purchased from Washington State, Sold for use as a floating cannery in Alaska but sank while in tow in route.



Lost Ferry across Columbia River on U.S. 101
Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon, and Pacific County, Washington
Replaced by the Astoria-Megler Bridge
Established 1921, Acquired by Oregon Highway Department 1946, Eliminated 1966
- Fritz S. Elving (Original Founder)
Total length: 21,120.0 ft. (4.0 mi.)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.18998, -123.82880   (decimal degrees)
46°11'24" N, 123°49'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/436044/5115489 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 50353 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 28, 2018: New photo from Richard Doody
  • November 29, 2011: Essay added by Michael Goff

Related Bridges 


  • Mike Goff - michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Wikipedia - Astoria-Megler Ferry
  • Ferries of Oregon - List of the Astoria-Megler Ferry Roster
  • Richard Doody