‘Curious mystery’ revealed at Port of Astoria

Secret held at the US Bank in Astoria for 50 years or more

Municipal bearer bonds from the 1930s were found in a long-forgotten safety deposit box at a US Bank in Astoria, February 23, 2017 (Courtesy: Port of Astoria)
Municipal bearer bonds from the 1930s were found in a long-forgotten safety deposit box at a US Bank in Astoria, February 23, 2017 (Courtesy: Port of Astoria)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A safety deposit box, a commissioner’s recollection and a locksmith unveiled a secret held at the US Bank in Astoria for 50 years or more.

Recently, the finance manager for the Port of Astoria found a document in an old cardboard box that showed the port had a long-forgotten safety deposit box.

Jim Campbell, who is a current commissioner, recalled he’d been a signer for the box in his first term back in the mid-1960s. Since no one had a key to the box, Campbell’s memory served as enough information to hire a locksmith to open the box.

Inside the box: 3 tax-free municipal bearer bonds from the 1930s. Back then they were sold for $1000 each and could be redeemed with semi-monthly payments of $17.50, with a due date of June 1965.

Port of Astoria Executive Director Jim Night said the bonds are worthless now, but the artwork is outstanding. Night, who said the entire thing is a “curious mystery” said they’ll contact the Clatsop County Historical Society about possibly donating them for preservation.