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When the first Europeans arrived in the 16th century in the region now known as Oregon, it had been home to more than a hundred Native American tribes, including the Chinook, the Yamel, the Coos, the Bannock, and the Modoc. Spanish sailors first spotted the coastline of Oregon in the mid-16th century and included it in rough maps describing the region. A few years later, following the footsteps of the French and the Spanish, English explorer Sir Francis Drake landed there in search of Spanish loot. He was followed by British and American expeditions who charted the land and claimed it for their respective countries. The conflict between Britain and the United States was amicably resolved in 1818 when both countries divided the region between themselves and governed it jointly.
During the 1830s and 40s, groups of pioneers from the east traversed the famous Oregon Trail as they made their way westwards. Over the next 20 years, hundreds of thousands of settlers migrated west, many of them choosing to settle in Oregon. The discovery of gold in the 1850s attracted more people to the region. Eventually, the British were greatly outnumbered by the Americans and most of the territory went to the United States via the Treaty of Oregon in 1846. This treaty gave part of the territory to the British, an area that ultimately became part of Canada. The Oregon Territory established in 1848 was a vast region that included the future states of Oregon, Idaho, Washington and parts of Montana. Oregon officially became the 33rd state of the Union in February 1859.
In the 21st century, the state has a diversified and thriving economy and is a leader in aquaculture and bio-and high-technology manufacturing. With over 300 wineries, Oregon is also one of the country’s top producers of wine. Portland, Oregon’s largest cities, is considered to be one of the best cities of the United States in terms of quality of life. Other urban areas of the state such as Corvallis and Eugene have also experienced steady growth.
The list below has many interesting facts about the State of Oregon. Read on to know more!
Source: United States Postal Service – Abbreviations
Source: Resident Population Data – 2010 Census
|Governor||John Kitzhaber (Democrat, to January 2015)|
|Entered the Union||February 14, 1859
as the 33rd state
|Motto||Alis volat Propriis ( She flies with her own wings)|
|Nickname||The Beaver State|
|Song||Oregon, My Oregon|
|Professional Sports Teams||Portland Trail Blazers (Men’s Basketball); Portland Timbers (Soccer)
(sports listing policy)
|Origin of Name||Unknown. However, it is generally accepted that the name, first used by Jonathan Carver in 1778, was taken from the writings of Maj. Robert Rogers, an English army officer|
|Historical Sites||The Oregon Trail|
|Points of Interest||Crater Lake National Park, Mount Hood, and Bonneville Dam on the Columbia|
|Bordering States||Oregon borders Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, and the Pacific Ocean.|
Follow these links to read articles about Oregon from Encyclopedias and Almanacs:
Official State Links
This is the official website for the State of Oregon.
- Oregon State Library
Here is the homepage for the Oregon State Library.
- Oregon Historical Society
Here is the homepage for the Oregon State Historical Society.
- Oregon History Center
Here is the homepage for the Oregon State Historical Society Museum.
- University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Here is the homepage for the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
- Oregon State Archives
Here is the homepage for the Oregon State Archives.
- Oregon Parks & Recreation Department
Here is the homepage for Oregon State Parks.
- Travel Oregon
Here is the official state travel and tourism website for Oregon.
- Oregon Legislative Kids Page
Here is an Oregon state site just for kids, offered by Oregon Legislative Information Systems.
Other State Links
- 50states.com: Oregon
The site provides a wealth of information about Oregon. It includes everything from the highest point to county profile to climate.
- Roadside America: Oregon Attractions
Roadside America describes itself as an online guide to offbeat attractions. This site offers reviews of “weird sites along the highway” in Oregon.
- End of the Oregon Trail Home Page
This site covers the famous Oregon Trail, offering biographies, frequently asked questions, and other notes of history and facts about the famous road to Oregon.
- Links to The Oregon Trail
This online directory offers links to dozens of Oregon Trail websites.
Did You Know
- In agriculture, the state leads in growing peppermint, cover seed crops, blackberries, boysenberries, loganberries, black raspberries, and hazelnuts.
- Oregon has the only nickel smelter in the United States.
- Two mammals are unique to Oregon – the Camas pocket gopher and the Ashland shrew.
- Columbia River, which forms 3/4ths of the northern boundary of the state, was first explored by an American, Robert Gray, in 1792.
Some Famous People from this State
- Doc Severinsen (1927- ), band leader and jazz trumpet player. He was the band leader for the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson hosted it.
- Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915), journalist and woman-suffrage leader. (v. 21)
- Matt Groening (1954- ), cartoonist. He is the creator of the animated show, The Simpsons.
- Ursula LeGuin (1929- ), author. She has written science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy and The Left Hand of Darkness.
- Lindsay Wagner, actress. She starred in the TV series, The Bionic Woman.