It was built in 1885 for Captain George Flavel, the man basically responsible for navigating the sand bars on the Columbia river and in turn helped make Portland the major city it is today. He also married his wife when she was 14, and he was in his late 30's (it could have been early 40's, I'll have to reread the brochure). Either way, ew.
I noticed a difference in this house and the ones built in the same time period here in the south. The Flavel House is a little less frilly, a little more 'sea-captainy' in its slightly more reserved interior. The woodwork was amazing, even though I had my usual irrational, all consuming urge to paint it white. Matt refers to this as a sickness, but I cant help it. I just submit as evidence the saying of one wise Christopher Lowell, "Just because it's wood, doesn't make it good." It probably also has something to do with my slight case of claustrophobia and the need to live in a well-lighted cottage by the ocean. Anyway.
Astoria reminded me of the perfect Halloween town. Winding streets full of old homes, foggy weather, the magnetic pull of history and charm. October and Halloween in our neighborhood means motorized-life-size zombies on front porches yelling, "Woooo" in mechanized voices. But I much prefer my Halloween to resemble Astoria. Spooky, but cheerful.