Oregon Facts

Oregon is located in the Pacific northwestern region in USA. It lies close to the Pacific Coast and is bordered by Washington to its north, Nevada to its southeast, California in south and Idaho in east.

Quick Facts

Official Name Oregon
Area98,381 sq mi (255,026 km2)
Largest CityPortland
Official LanguagesNone ( Spoken : English and Spanish )
Time Zone most of state Pacific: UTC 8/7, most of Malheur County Mountain: UTC 7/6
GovernorKate Brown
Lt. Governor--
U.S. SenatorRon Wyden, Jeff Merkley
AbbreviationOR, Ore. US-OR
Joined the UnionFebruary 14, 1859
NicknameBeaver State
Highest PointMount Hood
Lowest PointPacific Ocean
Official Websitewww.oregon.gov

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Location and Geography : Oregon is located in the portion of the United States known as the Pacific Northwest, directly beneath the state of Washington. Oregon is known for its evergreen forests and for the Cascade Mountains, which divide the state from north to south. On the western side of the Cascades, the state is green and rainy; on the eastern side, it is dry and rugged.

Counties and Regions : The state of Oregon is divided into 36 counties, but its varied landscape is better known as being made up of the following regions:

  • Oregon Coast
  • Willamette Valley
  • Rogue Valley
  • The Cascades (Mountains)
  • Klamath Mountains
  • Columbia River Plateau
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Oregon Outback
  • Blue Mountains
  • Central Oregon
  • Eastern Oregon
  • Southern Oregon
  • Western Oregon
  • Goose Lake Valley
  • Oregon High Desert
  • Harney Basin
  • Mount Hood Corridor
  • Portland Metropolitan Area
  • Treasure Valley
  • Tualatin Valley
  • Warner Valley

Major Cities : Oregon’s largest city is Portland, with nearly six hundred thousand people (with well over two million people living in the greater metropolitan area). Other large cities are Eugene, Gresham, and the state capital, Salem. The community of Bend, currently Oregon’s seventh-largest city, is one of the fastest-growing towns in the United States.

Population : The vast majority of Oregon’s population is concentrated in the western part of the state, along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast. The state total is more than three million, eight hundred thousand people, and it is growing fast.

Story Behind the Name : Nobody is sure exactly where the term “Oregon” comes from, although there are several theories. Many people think that it came from a Native American word or perhaps from the French word ouragan (meaning “hurricane”), which would be plausible because of how many French fur trappers made early contact with the natives there. The British actually referred to the entire area as “Columbia” (after the Columbia River), while “Oregon” was the American term for the territory.

History and Colonization : The Europeans and Americans who first came to the Oregon region had similar goals in mind: the discovery of the fabled Northwest Passage (a water trade route that would connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans). British explorer James Cook came upon the land as part of his exploration of the Pacific Coast in the late 1700s, while the American expedition of Lewis and Clark arrived a relatively short time later. As these and other individuals such as French Canadian fur trappers made inroads into the large area known as Oregon Country, several governments began to make claims on the land. The native population became decimated by disease and pushed out of their homes, as more and more white settlers moved West along the Oregon Trail.

The fur trade was the economic backbone of Oregon Country during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Great Britain and the United States argued frequently over the borders of the territory, and many thought that yet another
war would break out between the two. Finally, in the 1840s, a treaty was agreed on that set the border between British and American lands, and turned what had been Oregon Country into the Oregon Territory.

A formal government was first created in Oregon Country for the main purpose of apportioning the large estate of Ewing Young, a successful trapper and businessman who died with no heirs. This led to the establishment of a system of law and a governmental body, which then lobbied the U.S. to include Oregon as a full state. At the time, it was quite important to the American North that a new anti-slavery state be added, and so Oregon became the 33rd state in 1859. This proved to be a part of the increasing level of tensions between the North and the South that led to the American Civil War a scant few years later.

In the twentieth century, Oregon’s economy suffered some depression, as the fur trade was no longer viable and more industrial businesses (other than logging) never got much of a foothold. Oregon established itself with more tourist draws and the building of many crucial hydroelectric dams, which, along with agriculture and lumber, are still some of the state’s key industries.

More Oregon Facts & Trivia

1.Oregon is the only state that has two different designs on its flag. On the opposite side of the flag of Oregon there is a beaver.

2.Oregon has 9 lighthouses that are located besides its shoreline. 4 out of these have been earmarked as monuments with historic significance. The others are in use.

3.The maximum number of ghost towns in USA is at Oregon.

4.City of Roses is another name for Portland. The city also exemplifies exceptional planning at the urban level.

5.Many think that the gorge at Columbia River is the most ideal windsurfing location globally.

6.The International Rose Test Garden has at least 500 different types of roses, which have been grown simultaneously from 1917 onwards. It is located at one of the highest locations in Portland.

7.The lake with maximum depth in US is Crater Lake. It has been created on an age old volcano's remains.

8.Mount Hood is an inactive volcano. It is also the highest mountain in the state and has a height of 11,239 feet.

9.The only states in USA that do not have self serving gas outlets are New Jersey and Oregon.

10.There is a diverse range of hiking routes surrounded by forests and 10 cascades in Silver Falls State Park. The park is also the biggest of its kind in Oregon.

11.One way streets were constructed for the first time in Eugene.

12.The water of Crater Lake is crystal blue in color and it is famous globally for that. The lake was created in excess of 6500 years back and has the most depth among the lakes in USA.

13.Pilot Butte is a volcano with cinder shaped cones. It is situated within Bend's boundaries.

14.Oregon Caves National Monument's caves were cut up inside solid marble. The caves were seen for the first time in 1874.

15.Coast Douglas-Fir is regarded as Oregon's biggest tree. It is 329 feet tall.

16.Dr. John McLoughlin is known as the Father of Oregon. He contributed much to the early development of the state.

17.In North America the river gorge with the maximum depth is Hells Canyon. Its depth stretches to 8000 feet.

18.The most detailed and biggest assortment of carousel horses can be seen at the Carousel Museum.

19.The official nut of Oregon is hazelnut, which is also called filbert. It is the sole US state which has an official nut.

20.The winter station used by famed explorers William Clark and Meriwether Lewis from 1805-06 has a duplicate at Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

21.14th February is celebrated in Oregon as its birthday and Valentine's Day.

22.Bluebird houses are a common feature at the stakes in each home in Bickelton, which is a tiny village.

23.The statue that is atop the capitol building in Oregon is named Oregon Pioneer. It was created by Ulric Ellerhusen. The statue is revered as a gallant figure. It also stands for the spirit shown by the early settlers of Oregon.

24.Cascade Mountain range has one route that passes through the sea level. This route has been divided by Columbia George National Scenic Area that has been described as an amazing river gorge.

25.Yurts are tents that have a circular dome like shape and can be used for purposes of camping. Oregon's park system has 159 such yurts that are spread over 19 parks.

26.Through Ries-Thompson House one can get a fantastic sight of Mount Hood. It was built around early 20th century. Among houses that are still there in Parkdale it is the oldest.

27.The official colors of Oregon are gold along with navy blue.

28.The biggest factory specializing in cheese in Oregon is located in Tillamook.

29.The official fish of Oregon is Chinook salmon.

30.The rhododendron capital of Oregon is Florence.

31.In 1792 the discovery of Willamette River was made.

32.The Oregon grape is known in Latin as Mahonia aquifolium. In a resolution, which was passed in 1899, it was made the official flower by the state legislature.

33.Bohemia Mining District is located in Sharp's Creek and is close to Cottage Grove. The discovery of the most financially valuable gold in Cascade Mountains region was made in Bohemia Mining District.

34.Corvallis and Oregon City were previously Oregon's capital. The capital building is now located in Salem.

35.The first ever orchard of hazelnuts to have functioned on a commercial basis in Oregon was the Dorris Ranch.

36.Idaho lies to the east of Oregon and more than 50% of the boundary shared by the two states is created by Snake River. Washington is to the north of Oregon and a majority of the boundary between these two states has been created by Columbia River.

37.The first ever building on the University of Oregon Campus was the Deady Hall and it is still there. The University was inaugurated in Eugene in 1876.

38.In Portland, the expedition undertaken by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark has been acknowledged with a long cabin. It is said to be the biggest of its kind the world over and was created in 1905.

39.The biggest sea cave of the world is the Sea Lions Cave. The cave was seen near Florence in 1880.

40.Spain had signed a treaty with USA in 1819. The southern border shared by California and Oregon was created by that treaty.

41.Heceta Head Lighthouse is situated at Lane County. It has been clicked the maximum times among the lighthouses that are there in USA.

42.In the expanded parts of western USA several land courses are used. The one with the maximum length is Oregon Trail.

43.Oregon has only one sanctuary that is meant for rare plants. It is named Darlington Wayside.

44.The biggest clear-span structure in the world is in Oregon and has been made out of wood. It is also home to Tillamook Naval Air Museum.

45.Salt Creek Falls has a depth of 286 feet. It is situated at Cascade Mountain. It is the second tallest waterfall in Oregon.

46.Haystack Rock is located off Cannon Beach and is the third biggest coastal monolith in the world. Its height is 235 feet.

47.HJ Andrews Experimental Forest is a big site for ecological research and functions on a long term basis. It is among the few such locations in USA.

48.At least 467,000 people have been buried at the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. It was set up in 1880.

49.Among United State's cycling societies Eugene has received the tenth ranking. The ranking has been done by Bicycling Magazine.

50.The original set up in the world to have been able to raise harbor seals while holding them captive is Oregon's Seaside Aquarium.

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Last Updated on: September 29th, 2017