Open main menu


Flag (obverse)

Oregon (/ˈɒrɪɡən/ (About this soundlisten) ORR-ih-gən) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.

Selected image

Capitol Mall as seen from Oregon State Capitol
Credit: Aboutmovies

Capitol Mall as seen from the top of the Oregon State Capitol. The Oregon State Capitol is the building housing the state legislature and the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and treasurer of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located in the state capital, Salem.

Selected biography

Ewing Young expeditions to American West
Ewing Young (1799 - February 9, 1841) was an American trapper from Tennessee who traveled the western United States before settling in Oregon Country. As a prominent citizen there, his death was the impetus for the early formation of government in that region. In 1830, Young led the first American trapping expedition to reach the Pacific Coast from New Mexico. After recuperating near Los Angeles, the group visited the San Fernando Mission, and headed north into California's great Central Valley. In California Young trapped and traded before returning to Taos. He would continue with this pattern until 1834 when Young encountered Hall J. Kelley in San Diego. Kelley invited Ewing Young to accompany him north to Oregon, but Young at first declined. After re-thinking, Young agreed to travel with Kelley and they set out in July 1834. They arrived in Oregon in 1834, arriving at Fort Vancouver on October 17th. Young settled on the west bank of the Willamette River near the mouth of Chehalem Creek, opposite of Champoeg. A few years later Young was the leader of the Willamette Cattle Company that in January 1837 traveled to California with the assistance of Lieutenant William A. Slacum on the ship Loriot, and brought back 630 head of cattle along the Siskiyou Trail helping to make Young the wealthiest settler in Oregon. In February of 1841, Young died without any known heir and without a will, creating a need for some form of government to deal with his estate, as he had many debtors and creditors among the settlers. The activities that followed his death eventually led to the creation of a provisional government in the Oregon Country.

Did you know...

Bill Naito in 1991


In this month

<< Previous month Next month >>

Selected article

A page from a Hebrew bible
Temple Beth Israel (Hebrew: בית ישראל‎) is a Reconstructionist synagogue located in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in the early 1930s as a Conservative congregation, Beth Israel was for many decades the only synagogue in Eugene. The congregation initially worshiped in a converted house on West Eighth Street. It constructed its first building on Portland Street in 1952, and occupied its current LEED-compliant facilities in 2008. In the early 1990s conflict between feminist and traditional members led to the latter leaving Beth Israel, and forming the Orthodox Congregation Ahavas Torah. Beth Israel came under attack from neo-Nazi members of the Volksfront twice, in 1994 and again in 2002. In both cases the perpetrators were caught and convicted. Services were lay-led for decades. Marcus Simmons was hired as the congregation's first rabbi in 1959, but left in 1961. After a gap of two years, Louis Neimand became rabbi in 1963, and served until his death in 1976. He was followed by Myron Kinberg, who served from 1977 to 1994, and Kinberg in turn was succeeded by Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin. As of 2011, led by rabbis Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin and Maurice Harris, Beth Israel had approximately 400 member households, and was the largest synagogue in Eugene.

State facts

State symbols:

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



Selected panorama

Mount Hood seen from OHSU
Credit: Cacophony
Mount Hood (called Wy'east by the Multnomah tribe), is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc in northern Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of the city of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties.

Selected quote

George Law Curry
When the history of Oregon comes to be written the mind of the historian will be impressed by the earnestness and sincerity of character—the unobtrusive, unostentatious conduct of those who formed its population from the first reclaiming of the wilderness—the pioneer epoch—to the more refined advancement into social and political existence.
George Law Curry, 1857, Legislative Message

Featured content

Featured article star.png
See also: Good articles relating to Oregon
Featured articles: Featured lists:

Featured pictures:

Main topics


Oregon-related lists









Natural history

Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


Protected areas


Things you can do

Nuvola apps korganizer.svg

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Purge server cache

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