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Oregon Facts

Oregon Facts

Oregon is a northwestern coastal state bordered by California, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, and the Pacific Ocean.

It’s known for its wild west past and diverse, scenic landscape of beaches, farms, forests, and mountains.

oregon-seal

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Salem
  • Population: 4 million
  • Nickname: Beaver State
  • Key Cities: Portland, Salem, Bend, Eugene, Medford
  • Postal Abbreviation: OR
  • Major Industries: Advanced manufacturing, business services, food and beverages, forestry and wood products, technology

History

  • How did Oregon get its name: People aren’t exactly sure how Oregon got its name. One theory is that the name comes from the French-Canadian word “ouragan,” which means “storm” or “hurricane.” Canadian fur traders in the area are said to have called Oregon’s Columbia River “the river of storms,” which eventually gave the state its name.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Monday, February 14, 1859

Geography

  • Size: 98,466 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean at sea level
  • Highest point: Hood at 11,239 ft.
  • Counties: 36
  • Famous locations: Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Cannon Beach, Willamette National Forest

Famous Oregonians  

  • Jerry Smith- football player
  • River Phoenix- actor
  • Ndamukong Suh- football player
  • Tonya Harding- Olympic figure skater
  • Courtney Love- singer/songwriter
  • Sally Struthers- actress

Fun Facts

  • The deepest lake in the United States is Oregon’s Crater Lake, which is also one of the ten deepest lakes in the world. The lake was formed when a volcano collapsed around 7,700 years ago, and it’s almost 2,000 feet deep. The lake also features two islands, Phantom Ship and Wizard Island.

crater-lake

  • Mushroom hunting is a popular activity in Oregon, and the state even holds the annual Estacada Festival of the Fungus. The festivities include a mushroom hunt, mushroom tastings, mushroom themed artwork, and mushroom identification classes. Oregon is also home to the world’s largest mushroom, a honey fungus that spans about 2.4 miles in Oregon’s Blue Mountains.
  • Oregon’s flag is the only U.S. state flag that has a different design on each side. The front is decorated with the emblem from the state seal, while the back features a large golden beaver.
  • The Oregon Trail was the longest land route used in the western expansion of the United States. It’s 2,200 miles long and took most families four to six months of travel.
  • There are nine lighthouses along Oregon’s scenic coastline. Four are now historic monuments, while the other five are still in use. One is the country’s most photographed lighthouse, the Heceta Head Lighthouse in Lane County.
  • Oregon’s Mount Hood is often called the second most-climbed mountain in the world (behind Mount Fuji in Japan). A dog named Ranger climbed the mountain 500 times between 1925 and 1939.

More US state facts.