Oregon is also known as the “Beaver State”. The earliest known use of the name “Oregon” was spelled as “Ouragon” by Major Robert Rogers in his 1765 petition to the Kingdom of Great Britain referring to the Columbia River which was seen as the mythical River of the West. It was in 1778 that the current spelling became “Oregon”. Oregon’s capital is Salem and its largest city is Portland. It has a population of approximately 3,831,074 (2010 Census). Its highest point is “Mount Hood” at 11,249 feet above sea level and its lowest point is sea level on the Pacific Ocean. Located at the southern end of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on its West, State of Washington to its North, California to its south, and Nevada and Idaho on the East. The main waterways/rivers through the state are the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Oregon had an aboriginal inhabitation for almost 15,000 years, with European settlers arriving as traders, explorers, and settlers by 1843 when it was called “The Oregon Territory”. The first Europeans to come to Oregon were the Spanish in the late 17th Century. The British Captain James Cook explored the coast in 1778 while searching for the Northwest Passage. This was also a Quest of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop on the mouth of the Columbia River. By the 16th century, Oregon was home to various tribes including the Bannock, Chasta, Chinook, Molalla, Nez Perce, Klamath, Kalapuya, Takelma, and the Umpqua. Oregon became the USA’s 33rd state being added to the Union on February 14, 1859. By 1811 the Northwest Company, captained by David Thompson, was the first to navigate the entire length of the Columbia River. Oregon’s Willamette River valley is its most densely populated area and home to 8 of the 10 most populated Oregon cities.
Oregon, like Washington, has a diverse landscape that involves ocean coastline, volcanoes, rugged/glaciated mountain ranges, dense evergreen rainforests, meadows, prairies, scrublands, deserts, and a high desert to its eastern edges. Surprisingly, Oregon has only one National Park – Crater Lake. From 1842-1843 the Oregon Trail brought many settlers to the region and instigated a battle between the United States and Britain over the Oregon boundary, which was peacefully resolved in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty setting the border between the U.S. and the British North America as the 49th parallel officially organizing the region in 1848. Settlements to the area increase because of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 in conjunction with the forced relocation of Native Populations to Indian Reservations. Oregon was originally a “whites only” state which was the only state with such a clause in its state Constitution during admission that has been admitted into the United States. It was also a region founded as a refuge from the disputes over slavery. During the American Civil War, U.S. troops were withdrawn from Oregon and sent east while volunteer cavalries from California were sent to Oregon to keep peace and protect the population. Oregon is home to four of the most prominent mountain peaks in the United States. Oregon’s industries are based on hydroelectric dams, lumber, timber, salmon, hazelnuts, wine, cattle, sheep, dairy, eggs, poultry, agriculture, transportation, silicon technologies, commerce, flood control, tourism, and mining. Oregon is one of the few states of the Union that does not have sales tax and will not let customers pump their own gas. Oregon is a popular filming location and have been home to many movies such as: Rooster Cogburn, The Goonies, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, Overboard, The River Wild, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Paint Your Wagon, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring, The Ring Two, Quarterback Princess, The General, Mr. Brooks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Short Circuit, Come See the Paradise, The Shining, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Postman, Homeward Bound, Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, 1941, Swordfish, Twilight, Untraceable, and Wendy and Lucy. Creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening, produced his TV series reflecting his home regions in Oregon. Silicon industries have setup in the state such as Open Source Development Labs, Genentech, and various data centers for Google (The Dalles), Facebook (Prineville), and Amazon (Boardman). Oregon has one of the largest salmon fishing industries in the world, and the state ranks the 4th nationally for craft breweries per capita. Portland has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas or San Francisco.
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This page was last updated on 3/24/17
- Baurley, Thomas 2015 Alternative America: Travel Guide to the U.S.A. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- McGowan, Leaf 2015 Magical America. Technogypsie Publications, Riverside, California.
- Wikipedia 2015 “United States of America” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States referenced 8/16/15.