Oregon Facts and Trivia

Fun Facts about Oregon State’s Geography

  • Oregon map outline
  • The Columbia River gorge is considered by many to be the best place in the world for windsurfing.
  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is formed in the remains of an ancient volcano.
  • Eugene was the first city to have one-way streets.
  • Pilot Butte, a cinder cone volcano, exists within the city limits of Bend.
  • At 329 feet the Coast Douglas-Fir in Oregon is considered the tallest tree in the state.
  • City Guide: Visit Oregon City Guide for a look at geography, local history, architecture, and culture.
  • The Chinook salmon is Oregon’s official state fish.
  • The Willamette River was discovered in 1792.
  • In 1858 the richest gold find in the Cascade Mountains was discovered in the Bohemia Mining District at Sharp’s Creek near Cottage Grove.
  • Dorris Ranch in Springfield became the first commercial filbert orchard in the state.
  • Silver Falls State Park is the Oregon’s largest state park. It features 10 waterfalls and contains a wide variety of forested hiking trails.
  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed more than 6,500 years ago. Its crystal-blue waters are world renowned.
  • Discovered in 1874 the caves located in Oregon Caves National Monument are carved within solid marble.

Oregon State Symbols Trivia

  • Oregon’s state flag pictures a beaver on its reverse side. It is the only state flag to carry two separate designs.
  • Douglas Fir is the official state tree of Oregon.
  • Oregon State Bird is called the Western Meadowlark
  • Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-serve gas stations.
  • The official state motto of Oregon is ‘The Union Alis volat propriis’ which translates to ‘She flies with her own wings’
  • At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.
  • The hazelnut is Oregon’s official state nut. Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. The hazelnut is also known as the filbert.
  • Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
  • The “Oregon Pioneer” statue that tops the capitol building is a work by Ulric Ellerhusen. This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon’s early settlers.
  • The seal of the state of Oregon was designed in 1857 by Harvey Gordon. It was preceded by the seal of the provisional government also known as the ”Salmon Seal”
  • The official song of the state of Oregon is called ‘Oregon, My Oregon’
  • The state park system has 159 yurts located in 19 parks. Yurts are a circular domed tent suitable for camping.
  • Navy blue and gold are Oregon’s official state colors.
  • Oregon state nickname is known as “The Beaver State”
  • The Oregon Legislature designated the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state flower by resolution in 1899.

Historical Facts about the State of Oregon

  • Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state.
  • In 1876 the University of Oregon opened in Eugene. Deady Hall was the first building on campus and still exists.
  • In 1880 a sea cave was discovered near what is now known as Florence. Sea Lion Caves is known to be the largest sea cave in the world.
  • OR is the Two-letter or Postal Abbreviation and Ore. is the Traditional or Standard Abbreviation for the State of Oregon.
  • The nation’s most photographed lighthouse is the Heceta Head Lighthouse located in Lane County.
  • Darlingtonia Wayside is Oregon’s only rare plant sanctuary.
  • Oregon’s second highest waterfall is Salt Creek Falls in the Cascade Mountain range. It drops 286 feet.
  • The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is one of the largest long-term ecological research sites in the United States.
  • Eugene is rated by “Bicycling Magazine” as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.
  • There are nine lighthouses standing along the coastline. Five are still being used; the others are designated historic monuments.
  • Portland is an example of outstanding urban planning. The city is known as The City of Roses.
  • High above the city of Portland the International Rose Test Garden features more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
  • At 11,239 feet Mount Hood stands as the tallest peak in Oregon. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano.
  • The world’s largest rosary collection is exhibited at The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. A local resident collected the exhibit.
  • The Carousel Museum contains the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of carousel horses.
  • Fort Clatsop National Memorial contains a replica of Lewis and Clark’s 1805-1806 winter outpost.
  • The small village of Bickelton is filled with bluebird houses seen on the posts of every house.
  • The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area is a spectacular river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range.
  • The Ries-Thompson House is the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale. Built circa 1900 the home and area offer a commanding view of Mount Hood.
  • Tillamook is home to Oregon’s largest cheese factory.
  • Florence is known as Oregon’s rhododendron capital.
  • Oregon’s capitol building is located in Salem. Earlier capitals include the cities of Oregon City and Corvallis.
  • The Columbia River forms most of the northern border between Oregon and Washington. The Snake River forms over half of the eastern boundary with Idaho.
  • In 1905 the largest long cabin in the world was built in Portland to honor the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • A treaty between the United States and Spain established the current southern border between Oregon and California. The treaty was signed in 1819.
  • The Oregon Trail is the longest of the overland routes used in the westward expansion of the United States.
  • The Tillamook Naval Air Museum is housed in the world’s largest wooden clear-span building.
  • Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach is 235 feet high and is the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
  • The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, built in 1880, is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.
  • The Seaside Aquarium was the first facility in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity.

Thanks to: Out West Newspaper, Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon, Roy Daw, Lana Rose, Ken Lambert, Peter LaPorte, Reid Sanford, David Blanchard