The Oregon Portal
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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".
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In this month
- February 4, 1999, near Coos Bay the New Carissa ran aground during a storm on the Pacific Ocean.
- February 5, 1846, the first edition of the Oregon Spectator is published, becoming the first American newspaper to be published west of the Rocky Mountains.
- February 8, 1851, the city of Portland is incorporated.
- February 14, 1859, Oregon becomes the 33rd state of the Union.
- February 14, 1917, the Interstate Bridge is opened over the Columbia River, linking Portland to Vancouver, Washington.
- February 14, 1994, architect Pietro Belluschi dies.
- February 25, 1880, the Chemawa Indian School opened in Forest Grove.
- February 27, 1993, the Spruce Goose arrives in McMinnville, where it will be housed in a museum.
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(Wyam, meaning "echo of falling water" or "sound of water upon the rocks," in several native languages) was a tribal fishing area on the Columbia River
, just east of the Cascade Mountains
, on what is today the border between the U.S. states
. The name refers to a series of cascades and waterfalls on the river, as well as to the native settlements and trading villages that existed there in various configurations for 11,000 years. Celilo was the oldest continuously inhabited community on the North American
continent until 1957, when the falls and nearby settlements were submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam
. The main waterfall, known variously as Celilo Falls, The Chutes, Great Falls, or Columbia Falls, consisted of three sections: a cataract
, called Horseshoe Falls or Tumwater Falls; a deep eddy, the Cul-de-Sac; and the main channel. These features were formed by the Columbia River's relentless push through basalt narrows
on the final leg of its journey to the Pacific Ocean
. For 11,000 years, native peoples
gathered at Wyam to fish and exchange goods. They built wooden platforms out over the water and caught salmon
with dipnets and long spears on poles as the fish swam up through the rapids and jumped over the falls. Historically, an estimated fifteen to twenty million salmon passed through the falls every year, making it one of the greatest fishing sites in North America.
Things you can do
Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W