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The Oregon Portal

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, Washington on the north, Idaho on the east, and California and Nevada on the south. The Columbia and Snake Rivers form, respectively, much of its northern and eastern borders. Between two north-south mountain ranges in western Oregon—the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Mountain Range—lies the Willamette Valley, the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state.

Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of any state in the U.S. It is well known for its tall, dense forests; its accessible and scenic Pacific coastline; and its rugged, glaciated Cascade volcanoes. Other areas include semiarid scrublands, prairies, and deserts that cover approximately half the state in eastern and north-central Oregon.

Oregon's population in 2010 was about 3.8 million, a 12% increase over 2000. Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene through Salem and Corvallis to Portland, Oregon's largest city.

The origin of the name Oregon is unknown. One account, advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech, was endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".

More about Oregon...

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Rochester covered bridge
Credit: Scott Catron

Rochester covered bridge - three miles northwest of Sutherlin, one of Oregon's covered bridges. There are currently 51 historic covered bridges remaining in Oregon.

Selected biography

Joel Palmer
General Joel Palmer (1810–1881) was an American pioneer of the Oregon Territory in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. He was born in Canada, and spent his early years in New York and Pennsylvania before serving as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives. Palmer traveled to the Oregon Country in 1845, blazing the last leg of the Oregon Trail, the Barlow Road, with Sam Barlow and others. He wrote a popular immigrant guidebook, co-founded Dayton, Oregon, and served as a controversial Indian Affairs administrator. Prior to his time as Indian Affairs administrator he was a general for the Provisional Government of Oregon during the Cayuse War as well as a peace commissioner for the war. He would follow the gold rushes across the west for a few years following the war before returning to Oregon, interrupted by peace negotiations with the Native Americans in his role as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. After Oregon became a state in 1859, Palmer served in both branches of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. He was selected as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives for one session in 1862, and in 1870 narrowly lost a bid to become Governor of Oregon. Palmer would then serve as Indian agent before retiring to his home in Yamhill County. That home, Palmer House in Dayton, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Did you know...

Whisky Creek Cabin


Wikinews Oregon portal

  • May 29: Portland man arrested for murder, intimidation in MAX train hate speech incident
  • June 23: On the campaign trail in the USA, May 2016
  • October 4: Several dead in Oregon college shootings
  • April 29: US Soccer: Seattle Sounders defeat Portland Timbers

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Clyde Drexler
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the Memorial Coliseum, before moving to the Rose Garden Arena (now the Moda Center) in 1995. Based in Portland throughout its existence, the franchise entered the league in 1970. For more than 40 years, until 2011, it was the only major league franchise in Oregon, and remains one of only two (with the Portland Timbers). The franchise has also enjoyed a strong following; from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American professional sports at the time. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA Championship once, in 1977. The other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs during 31 seasons of their 45-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers (Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, and Scottie Pippen). Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player; he was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1977, and the regular season MVP the following year. Four Blazer rookies (Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, Brandon Roy, and Damian Lillard) have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, and two others—Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy—have won the NBA Coach of the Year award with the team.

State facts

State symbols:

American beaver
Western meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas fir



Selected panorama

Pillars of Rome
Credit: Cacophony
Pillars of Rome, a unique feature in the southeast corner of Oregon.

Selected quote

Captain Gray
When we were over the bar we found this to be a large river of fresh water up which we steered. Many canoes came alongside. At 1:00 P.M. came to with the small bower, in ten fathoms, black and white sand. …people employed in pumping the salt water out of our water-caskets in order to fill with fresh, while the ship floated in. So ends.
Gray sails the Columbia River, Capt. Gray's journal entry after entering the Columbia River, later naming it after his ship.

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Attractions: Metro Areas: Culture: Education: Geography: Government:
Oregon State Capital rotunda
History: People: Sports: Transportation:


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Natural history

Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5

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