Oregon Facts
Oregon Facts

30 Amazing Oregon Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published November 16, 2021
  • It is illegal in Yamhill, Oregon, to practice the “occult arts,” including fortune telling, spiritualism, astrology, or anything “generally recognized to be unsound and unscientific.”[9]
  • In a 2019 ranking of all the states, Oregon placed first for having the most reliable, least expensive energy infrastructure that also makes use of renewable energy sources.[7]
  • Some of the actual wagon ruts from the original Oregon Trail have been preserved in parts of the state.[4]
  • Oregon’s entire western border is comprised of 363 miles of Pacific Ocean coast.[4]
  • Until the mid-1900s, there were no bridges along the coastal route that later became US highway 101; stagecoaches made the trip by driving on the sandy beaches.[4]
  • Oregon’s 40 miles of coastal sand dunes are the largest in North America.[4]
  • In the months of January and March, whales can be spotted from lookouts along the Oregon coast.[4]
  • Oregon Amazing
    Oregon is celebrated for its great natural beauty
  • Oregon hosts multiple annual festivals celebrating local flora, including the Depoe Bay Fleet of Flowers, the Azalea Festival, the Cranberry Festival, and the Rhododendron Festival.[4]
  • The huge 1840s rush to migrate to the West Coast by way of the Oregon Trail was called “Oregon Fever.”[3]
  • The 19th-century migration to the West along the Oregon Trail is considered to be one of history’s largest voluntary human migrations ever.[3]
  • Many places along Oregon’s coast are named for the various Spanish explorers who were the first Europeans to discover them, including Cape Blanco, Cape Ferrelo, Cape Sebastian, Heceta Head, Cape Falcon, and Yaquina Head.[3]
  • The territory that became Oregon state was ceded to the United States by the other European nations after a swarm of Americans populated the land in the 1840s.[2]
  • Astoria, Oregon, was the first successful English settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.[3]
  • Oregon's state tree, the Douglas fir, was transplanted to other regions of the world by 19th-century botanist David Douglas.[3]
  • The first American city west of the Missouri River was Oregon City, incorporated in 1844.[3]
  • The first US territorial government was created in 1848 in Oregon.[3]
  • Oregon Crater Lake
    Crater Lake was formed nearly 8,000 years ago, when the volcano Mount Mazama collapsed

  • Oregon's Crater Lake, with a depth of over 1,940 feet, is the deepest lake in the United States.[2]
  • Oregon's Malheur National Forest is home to the "Humongous Fungus," the world's largest living organism. The single fungal organism covers roughly three square miles and could be up to 8,000 years old.[8]
  • No one is sure where the word "Oregon" comes from; theories include source languages as disparate as French and Native American Chinook.[2]
  • Although Oregon is known as the Beaver State, and the beaver is the state animal, by the time Oregon became a state in 1859, fur traders had so diminished the state's beaver population that they were no longer a viable commodity.[2][3]
  • The deepest gorge in the United States, Oregon's Hell's Canyon, is deep enough to fit five stacked Eiffel Towers.[2]
  • Sea lions live in many caves and caverns on the Oregon coast.[2]
  • Oregon beaver
    Overtrapping was a big problem
  • Oregon's nickname is the Beaver State. The thickly furred animal drew thousands of trappers to the territory in the 1800s and their pelts were valuable trading commodity.[2]
  • There is a Big Foot trap—the only one in the world—in Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest.[2]
  • Oregon native Matt Groening named the hometown of his famous cartoon family, the Simpsons, after Springfield, Oregon.[1]
  • Oregon is the United States' largest supplier of softwood lumber.[2]
  • Featuring 3,500 different sections of new and used books, Powell's City of Books, located in Portland, Oregon, is the world's largest independent bookstore.[10]
  • No one knows for sure how Oregon's state rock, the thunderegg (like a geode but with a mineral-filled core) is formed.[11]
  • Oregon's state flag is the only US state flag with different designs on each side.[5]
  • Oregon has more ghost towns than any other US state.[6]
  • Fun Oregon INFOGRAPHIC
    Oregon Infographic Thumbnail

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