Harry Flavel House in Astoria, Oregon

By on April 23, 2012

The abandoned house of Harry Flavel in Astoria, Oregon

There are two Flavel houses in Astoria, Orgeon. The most well-known is the Flavel House Museum at Eighth and Exchange streets, the mansion originally built by Astoria’s first millionaire, Capt. George Flavel, in 1885. The other house, the abandoned, crumbling mansion at 15th and Franklin with only a hint of it’s original stately grace, serves as a testament to the decline of the descendants of the legendary Flavel family into a strange and reclusive bunch after the captain’s death.

Vintage photo of the Flavel house in Astoria, Oregon

The Flavel house in its prime.

It was in this house that “Hatchet” Harry Flavel lived with his sister Mary Louise Flavel and mother Florence Flavel at the time of the now-infamous stabbing.

Prior to this, gun shots heard inside the house on Halloween and New Year’s, along with an incident where Harry had allegedly locked his mother and sister out on a widow’s peak on a cold night, spraying them with a garden hose, was as serious as it ever got.

But in February 1983 Harry was walking his dog someone came speeding down the road. As the car passed, Flavel hit the car with the chain of the dog leash. The driver stopped, got out, grabbed Flavel’s sleeve and demanded his name so he could call the police. Flavel suddenly stabbed the man in the abdomen, a move he has always contended was in self-defense.

After being convicted in 1985, Flavel exhausted a string of appeals. He became a fugitive when he neglected to appear at his sentencing on August 17th, 1990, having fled the state with his family. The mansion has been abandoned ever since.

After two months on the run, Harry was arrested in Willow Grove, PA for theft of motel towels. Mary raised his bail, and they disappeared once again.

Harry died at 82 On May 31, 2010. Mary still owns the house, but it remains empty. In October of 2010, black mourning bunting mysteriously appeared draped from the balcony.

The abandoned house of Harry Flavel in Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, the first permanent American settlement west of the Rockies, remains a place deeply marked by its history. Locals say there are spirits in the old abandoned buildings. Astoria is also the location where the majority of the 1985 classic The Goonies was filmed.

George Flavel made his money braving the perils of the Columbia river, where more than 100 ships have been lost at its mouth since its discovery in 1792. It has become known as The Graveyard of the Pacific.

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30 Comments

  1. Dovid Smith

    May 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    The house has actually been REALLY sold this time it appears: from the Daily Astorian May 21, 2105

    “The Flavel home, a historic but neglected relic of Astoria, finally has a new owner.

    Greg Newenhof, who with his brother, Jeff, owns City Lumber Company, has agreed to pay $221,901 in cash for the long vacant mansion at 15th Street and Franklin Avenue.

    “I plan to fix it up and move into the house,” Greg Newenhof said Thursday evening.”

  2. Amy Jean B.

    February 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    The house was built by Joseph W. Suprenant…though the architect is unknown…the house is built in a Colonial-revival style. It was the second residence of the captain-wife-and son Harry. They moved there in 1901 from their first home built in 1879. A smaller and more plain house which is also listed as historic. Harry moved back to the house after his father’s death in 1924.

  3. Walley W

    January 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    This house is to be auctioned, min bid of 180,000. One of the requirements of the auction is that the house must be completely restored. I think the auction starts in a week or 2

  4. Mere

    April 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I live in Astoria and up until a year ago lived a block away from this house. I’m not sure it was auctioned off, Mary is still alive and pretty peeved the City went into her house and took pictures of the inside. The pictures inside the house were published in the Daily Astorian–I think they sold record # of papers with this story: http://www.dailyastorian.com/news/local/flavel-family-mystery-unsealed/collection_ca58a394-cad3-11e1-a56a-001a4bcf887a.html

    • Adam Charles Lewis

      April 29, 2014 at 4:49 am

      I REALLY DO want that HOUSE! Is there some way that I can just GET it as a Quick-Claim?

    • Javi A.

      August 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Hi. I’m looking for lodging in Astoria. Please, could you help me? Thank you (sorry for contact you in this unsual way)

  5. Bonnie L

    January 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Restore it and make it a bed & breakfast, beautiful views from the balconies. I lived 1 home away from Harry & Mary Louise while in elementary school….I can remember what scary people they were.

  6. Lindsay

    August 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    It was auctioned off and bought for $50,000. I was reading an older article on it yesterday. I think the property is still pretty tied up, but sounds like it will be restored someday.

    • Adam Lewis

      August 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      you mean…THIS house…was auctioned off? WHEN??????

      • kit

        August 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        It still belongs to Mary Louise Flavel, I think, but there are dozens of liens on it.

        • Adam Lewis

          August 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

          THAT means that I or whoever buys it would have to pay those liens to own it!!! WOW!!! I bet i could settle to fix it up and own it for 1/3 of the debt!!!

        • Issy

          March 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

          Well it dose but she lives in Portland now

  7. Adam Lewis

    August 7, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I would buy it, live there, fit it up and paint it a nice earth
    tone or maybe two-tone…white with black railings…..I wonder if they would sell that place cheap???

  8. Suzanne

    August 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Imagine what it looked like new and in its glory. Probably several hidden passages. It would be so wonderful to have it restored and you see how it was back then.

  9. Genyphfur

    August 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I would live there and make it pretty again

  10. VERONICA BOSQUEZ

    August 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    HOMES LIKE THIS ONE, NEED TO BE REMOLDED AND MADE INTO A MUSEUM ,TO SAVE IT FROM VANDALISM,…

  11. sam

    July 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Its kind of a fixer

  12. fredrick flavel

    June 15, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I AM YOUR COUSIN FREDERICK FLAVELL I WAS A 2 TIME WORLD FREESTYLE SKATEBOARD CHAMPION AND WORLD RECORD HOLDER SKATE BOARD BARREL JUMP 19 BARRELLS MY GRAND FATHER AND DAD WERE LEO V FLAVELL,S .I RECEARCHED THE 2ND L WAS DROPPED WHEN CAPT GEORGE CAME FROM DUBLIN.IF HARRY SAID SELF DEFENSE THATS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME I WILL HELP IN ANY FORM OR FASHION TO HELP CALL 1-714-253-2679

  13. Denice

    October 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I hope this structure is on the historical registry. This home has such great history and character. Restore it and open it up like the Winchester Mansion.

    • Kierah

      September 4, 2014 at 1:29 am

      The other flavel house is reconstructed to its original glory . I only assume this house will only be renovated to its historical state, At least I would hope. Astoria is my home town and it’s amazing to come back to it and take a step back in time. So many great old places and all the traditions are still there today , with a modern hipster twist. Time to go back home…. Simpler times.

  14. Jennifer D

    July 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

    They have! Disregard the wrong Flavel house in the link. This just happened: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Dead-dog-pink-bathroom-found-in-Ore-mystery-mansion-161681365.html

  15. Cheryl F

    July 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Such a shame – the town should take over this wonderful old house, restore it for housing for the elderly, or single moms w/children or some combination of same. I do hope they rescue this house before it is too late.

What do you think?