Oregon is a West Coast state in the United States. The 33rd state is located between Washington on the north and California on the south, as well as Idaho on the east and Nevada on the southeast.
To many people (especially outsiders), there’s nothing much to be said about Oregon except for beavers, perhaps, and the Trailblazers. But you may eat your words after discovering these amazing, delightful and interesting facts about Oregon that are worth sharing — and traveling too! You may find out that the “Beaver State” is not a boring place at all — and you can actually find a community there named Boring, by the way (no kidding!)
The Oregon grape (scientific name Mahonia aquifolium) is a species of flowering plant native to North America known for its striking foliage and brilliant yellow blooms. Its purplish-black fruit is sometimes used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It became Oregon’s official state flower in 1899.
Oregon’s state capitol or seat of government is currently located in its capital, Salem. It was previously located in a few cities that include Oregon City and Corvallis.
Portland is Oregon’s biggest city, and has also the state’s largest metropolitan area. Founded in 1845, the city was incorporated in 1851. Portland’s climate is ideal for growing and cultivating beautiful roses, and you can see many gorgeous rose gardens, the famous being the International Rose Test Garden. That’s why Portland, whose current population is almost four million, is dubbed as “Rose City.”
The Oregon swallowtail (Papillio oregonius) is a yellow-black butterfuly native to the state. So it’s a little wonder it was named as Oregon’s state insect in 1979. The insect became also among the first four butterflies to appear on the US Postal Service stamp.
Mount Hood is a dormant volcano in Oregon. It is the state’s highest peak at 11,239 feet. The man-made lake that situates just near southwest of Mount Hood is Trillium Lake with an average depth of 7 feet but it can be also as deep as 21 feet. The lake provides a clear reflection to the snow-capped Mount Hood, and is popular for fishing, photography and camping.
The western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) was adopted as a state bird of Oregon in 1927. Five other states also have the western meadowlark as their own state bird as well.
The Chinook salmon (Oncorhyncus tshawytscha) is a big salmon native to the North Pacific Ocean. It has been the state fish of Oregon since 1961.
Crater Lake is a caldera (a cauldron-like volcanic feature) lake located in the south-central Oregon, famed for its clear waters. It is formed by the collapse of the volcano Mount Mazama. At 1,943 feet (592 meters) deep, the Crater Lake is the ninth deepest lake in the US.
The Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) has been the official state tree of Oregon since 1939.
The Hells Canyon is a canyon situated on the borders of Oregon and Idaho. A part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, it is the deepest gorge in the entire North America at 7,993 feet (2,435 meters).
A “high desert” is a term that refers to an inland desert that is above sea level (at least 2,000 feet or 610 meters). Oregon’s High Desert region averages about 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above sea level. It is 209 kilometers (130 mi) long and 322 kilometers (200 mi) wide, and covers six municipalities in the state. The desert’s highest point, the Steens Mountain, measures 9,733 high.
While it is somewhat dry desert, Oregon’s High Desert can also support a relatively large number of flora and fauna. In fact, agricultural crops such as alfalfa, hay, and wheat are cultivated in the region. Ranchers also raise cattle and sheep there.
The University of Oregon is a public university established in 1876, and is organized into eight colleges, from architecture to law to liberal arts. This university is somewhat notable because it does not have any curricula for medicine and engineering.
One of the university’s famous buildings is the Lillis Business Complex. Completed in 1916, it is home to the Charles H. Lunquist College of Business, and consists of one new main building and three older buildings. The Lillis Complex has been gaining recognition because of its more modern state-of-the-art facilities and sustainable design. The facade of the complex’s front entrance is built with solar glasses which provide a considerable portion of the building’s energy.
Oregon’s official state song “Oregon, My Oregon” was written in 1920 by John Andrew Buchanan (lyrics) and Henry Bernard Murtagh (music) as their entry for the contest held by the Society of Oregon Composters. The song eventually won in the contest and following its selection, the Society began playing it at public gatherings as well as several schools and universities.
In 1927, “Oregon, My Oregon” was officially adopted as Oregon’s state song.