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Ten Things You May Not Know About Oregon

Updated on June 12, 2009

Oregon things you may not know

The state of Oregon is located on the West Coast of the United States between California and Washington. It was the thirty-third state admitted to the union (just after Minnesota and just before Kansas), and had played a large role in the history of the country, especially in the westward expansion that took place in the late 1800s. The state today is famous for its picturesque coastline, its lush green forests and for being on the forefront of the environmental movement. The largest city in the state is Portland, though the capital of the state is the much smaller Salem, Oregon. It is a very famous location with a fascinating history, but here are ten things you may not know about the state of Oregon.

1. Mainland casualties of World War II happened in Oregon

During the course of World War II, the Japanese had launched more than 9,000 balloons equipped with fire bombs into the Pacific jet stream with the hopes that they would land in the United States and start forest fires. One balloon landed near Bly, Oregon and was inadvertently triggered by a child who found it. The resulting explosion killed that child, four others, and an adult female. These were the only people to die during World War II due to enemy action on the mainland of the United States.

2. Astoria, first Permanent English Speaking Settlement West of the Rockies

Astoria, a community located at the mouth of the Columbia River and on the southern end of the more than two and a third mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge that connects the state of Oregon with its neighbor to the north Washington, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of the Rocky Mountains

Astoria-Megler Bridge, connects Oregon and Washington. Photo by: Ocva

3. Three populated cities close to Willamette River Valley

The first, second and third most populous cities in the state of Oregon are all located relatively close together in the Willamette River Valley, they are: Portland (1st), Eugene (2nd) and Salem (3rd).

4. Crater Lake - Deepest lake in the United States

Oregon's Crater Lake found in the state's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, is the deepest lake in the entire United States with a maximum dept of 1,949 feet and an average depth of 1,148 feet. It is the second deepest lake in North America and the ninth deepest lake in the entire world.

Information on Crater Lake

5. Corvalis, temporary capital of Oregon

While Salem has been both the territorial and state capital of Oregon since it was moved there in 1851 from Oregon City, for one year in 1855 Corvallis became the capital of the Oregon Territory before it was moved back to Salem the following year.

6. Hells Canyon - deepest river gorge in North America

Is the deepest river gorge in North America at approximately 8,000 feet. It is a very scenic location where you can also go whitewater boating, hike or horseback ride along the 900 miles of trails around the Snake, Imnaha and Rapid Rivers.

Hells Canyon. Photo by: ArtBrom

7. Home of the hazelnut

Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut, the hazelnut. In fact, Oregon grows 98% of the hazelnuts in the United States. This hazelnut, also known as a filbert, was first introduced to Oregon via early French settlers. If you know someone from Oregon, tell them they are nuts.

8. Heceta Head Lighthouse - One fo the most beautiful

Oregon is home to the Heceta Head Lighthouse, a working lighthouse that is 56 feet high and one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. It is truly one most beautiful in the world. A visitor to the lighthouse can enjoy bed and breakfast rentals while delighting in the outdoor scenic view.

Heceta Head Lighthouse. Photo by: pakyuz

9. No Self Serve Gas Stations

Oregon is one two states (the other is New Jersey) where there is no self service gas. It is believed this gives jobs to people and it helps out the elderly and the handicapped who have difficulty pumping their own gas. The nice about it is that they don't expect tips for this service since it's done all over Oregon.

10. Portland is nicknamed the City of Roses.

The city of Portland, Oregon is nicknamed "The city of Roses" due to having an abundance of rose gardens throughout the city. If you visit the International Rose Test Garden you can view over 9,000 roses in a four acre area.

Visit Oregon

Travel to Oregon with Expedia or Travelocity, the top two online travel leaders. To get a cheaper rate for expedia look for a coupon or deal posted. Finding expedia coupon codes or discounts can lower travel costs. Travelocity often offers deals to popular destinations such as Oregon. Find a travelocity promotional code and discover Oregon on the cheap.

Oregon Poll on things you did not know

Which fact did you find most interesting?

See results

If you found this article useful, please leave your comments and rate this article. If you are planning or have visited Oregon, your travel experiences are appreciated.

Oregon Feedback

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    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      Honestly, what an awesome lens this is, Oregon is such a beautiful place to visit! I have learned a lot more about it here, thanks for being part of the Exploring Oregon Group. I have just updated our group and wanted to invite all the lensmasters to see our new facelift! 5* to a great Squidoo Lensmaster!


    • DougP LM profile image

      DougP LM 

      9 years ago

      Well, you've got me there; I didn't know any of them!

      Good lens.

    • GreenEcoBean profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a very nice lens, great compilation of pictures as well!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Interesting lens! Oregon is one state I definitely need to spend more time in, having just passed through in a vehicle twice, stopping only in Roseburg (I think it was called). I certainly learned some interesting things here ... including the fact that Crater Lake is in Oregon NOT California. (oops!) And I'd sure like to visit Hells Canyon as well. Nice job here. :)

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      9 years ago

      Fun lens. I remember the first time we went to Oregon before we moved there. I got out of my rental car to pump the gas and this gal comes running over and offers to pump for me. I politely said no thanks but she was insistent. I thought she was a bit pushy. Finally she asks if I'm from Oregon and tells me I'm not allowed to pump my own gas. Must admit, I did enjoy having the gas pumped for me and missed it when we moved away.


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