Open main menu


Flag (obverse)

Oregon (/ˈɔːrɪɡən/ (About this sound listen) OR-i-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 along Washington state, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary along Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

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 164,549 residents. Portland, with 632,309 residents, is the most populous and ranks as the 26th most populous city in the United States. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 23rd largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,389,228.

Selected image

The White Stag sign with its 1997-2010 wording
Credit: Cacophony

The White Stag sign, in its former guise as the "Made in Oregon sign", in Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon. Old Town Chinatown is a neighborhood in the Northwest and Southwest sections of Portland, Oregon. The Willamette River forms its eastern boundary, separating it from the Lloyd District and the Kerns and Buckman neighborhoods.

Selected biography

Doctor John McLoughlin
Dr. John McLoughlin (October 19, 1784 – September 3, 1857) was the Chief Factor of the Columbia Fur District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. In 1798, he began 4½ years of medical training and was granted a license to practice medicine in 1803. He was hired as a physician at Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay, Ontario), a fur-gathering post of the North West Company on Lake Superior. In 1814, he became a partner in the company, and in 1816 he was arrested for the murder of Robert Semple, the governor of the Red River Colony, after the Battle of Seven Oaks (1816). McLoughlin was tried on October 30, 1818, and the charges were dismissed. McLoughlin was instrumental in the negotiations leading to the North West Company's 1821 merger with the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), and became Chief Factor of the Columbia District in 1824. McLoughlin was involved with the debate over the future of the Oregon Country. After retiring from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1846, McLoughlin moved his family back south to Oregon City in the Willamette Valley. In 1847, McLoughlin was given the Knighthood of St. Gregory, bestowed on him by Pope Gregory XVI. He became a U.S. citizen in 1849. He served as mayor of Oregon City in 1851, and died of natural causes in 1857. His grave is on a bluff above Willamette Falls. In 1953, the state of Oregon donated a statue of McLoughlin to the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection. The title "Father of Oregon" was officially bestowed on him by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1957.

Did you know...

Capitol Center


In this month

<< Previous month Next month >>

Selected article

Front of the house in 2013
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House, located in the Buckman neighborhood of southeast Portland, Oregon, in the United States, is one of the city's oldest coffeehouses. Named after Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the classical music-themed coffeehouse serves coffee and desserts, operating from the former living room of a reportedly haunted 1902 Craftsman-style house. Goody Cable started the business in 1980, having hosted classical music events in her home for years prior. Rimsky-Korsakoffee has a casual, communal atmosphere and sometimes features live classical music. The house is decorated with knickknacks, art and hanging objects. Tables are named for various composers; some of them are "haunted" (animated), at times elevating, rotating or vibrating. The coffeehouse has received a generally positive reception and is known mostly for its desserts and for offering a unique experience to guests. Rimsky-Korsakoffee has been called "eclectic", "quirky" and "spooky", and has been recognized by several publications for its coffee and desserts.

State facts

State symbols:

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



Selected panorama

Selected quote

W. W. Thayer
It must be remembered that our State is but in its infancy. That its population is small, and its material wealth is very limited. That notwithstanding it embraces within its boundaries a large area of territory, which includes extensive districts of productive lands, valuable mines of coal, iron, and precious metals, vast quantities of timber, broad rivers, innumerable bays, harbors, and inlets, abounding in fish of the choicest kind sufficient to supply the markets of the world, yet its resources are comparatively undeveloped. And that while it possesses all the elements of grandeur and magnificence, its greatness can not be successfully achieved without the benefit of a well regulated government, whose foundation is laid upon the broad principles of honesty, economy, and justice.
W. W. Thayer, 1880, Biennial Message

Featured content

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

Featured pictures:

Main topics

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


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