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Oregon


Portland Riverplace


Although we live in Washington state, our home town of Vancouver is just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.  We feel just as at home in Oregon as we do in Washington.  Because all of our local television and radio is based in Portland, we often feel more in touch with Oregon as well.  So, we decided to include Oregon on our site too!  This page will introduce you to our second home and offer some information about Oregon in general.  You may also visit our photo gallery and our Oregon Directory for more information on and pictures of Oregon.  For more area-specific information check out our Portland page, photo gallery and directory!

About thirteen thousand years ago the first Native Americans arrived in the Pacific Northwest from Mongolia by way ofCannon Beach Siberia and Alaska. The Indian pictographs on canyon walls and legends of the Northwest's earliest historic accounts provide the story of how Oregon was shaped by the ocean, volcanoes and rain.

Many Oregon names are derived from Indian tribal names such as Multnomah, Willamette, Siuslaw and Clackamas. Today, there are nine Native American Confederations in Oregon: the Siletz Tribes, the Grand Ronde Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the Umatilla Tribes, the Coos Tribe, the Coquille Tribe, the Klamath Tribe, the Burns Paiute Tribe and the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua.The Native Americans were followed many centuries later by Spanish and British mariners seeking the fabled "great river of the West." However, it was American Captain John Gray who, in 1792, explored the great river and named it for his ship, The Columbia. Captain Gray was one of the first white men to enter Oregon.

This discovery prompted Thomas Jefferson to send the exploring team of Lewis and Clark overland in 1804 to gain more knowledge of the region and to find out if there was a northwest passage. They found that the passage did not exist but laid claim to the territory. Their expedition, along with Captain Gray's trip, gave the United States a strong stake in the land.

Early trappers and fur traders made exciting discoveries, finding the bounty that Oregon provided. The British Hudson's Bay Co., led by Dr. John McLoughlin (His home still remains iMultnomah Fallsn Oregon City.), became the dominant force in the economy. This fur-trading company directed activities throughout the region and built the original capital of the Oregon Territory, in Oregon City, at the northern end of the Willamette Valley.

It wasn't until the 1840s however, that the main influx of Euro-American people began. Pioneers from the east coast border states and merchants traveling by ship from New England increased Oregon's population, leading to the creation of the Oregon Territory in 1848 and statehood in 1859.

Traveling by wagon, emigrants crossed the Oregon Trail from 1841 to 1860 covering 2,000 miles from Missouri to western Oregon. The majority of the pioneers settled in the fertile Willamette Valley. Discoveries of gold on the coast and in the high country led to settlement in these regions as well. These latter settlements, however, provoked tragic Indian wars that lasted many years. The Rogue River, Modoc, Paiute, Bannock and Nez Perce Indian wars all concluded with the Native Americans surrendering their land.

When the railroads came to Oregon in the 1870s, the agriculture industry no longer required direct access to waterways because supplies could be transported overland. The arrival of the automobile quickened the urban growth of the state, and the depletion of eastern forests brought logging to Oregon on a huge scale. Many of the millions of visitors to Oregon's Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905 were tempted to stay.

Japanese GardensOf 10 different climate zones that exist in the world, Oregon has seven. Thus, the different regions of Oregon experience varying types of weather patterns. Western Oregon produces many crops because of good soil and an abundance of moisture. The temperature is also very moderate, ranging from the mid-30s to 50s in the winter to 85 in the summer. Portland averages 38 inches of rain a year. In Southwest Oregon, a complex weather pattern known as the "Brookings Effect" creates warmer weather in a "banana belt" on the coast.

Central Oregon is on the cusp of the Cascade Mountain Range, wedged between the mountains and the high desert. Lows in the winter drop to the mid-20s, with snowfall reaching only a couple feet at the base of the mountain and to the mid-80s in the summer. The winds in the Columbia Gorge are especially strong in summer, which makes it a great spot for windsurfing.

Eastern Oregon experiences a greater variation of temperatures, hovering in the teMt. Hoodens through the winter with several feet of snow to the mid-90s in the summer. Eastern Oregon is a desert surrounded by a few mountain ranges, and it receives relatively little rainfall.

Western Oregon produces many crops because of good soil and an abundance of moisture. The temperature is also very moderate, ranging from the mid-30s to 50s in the winter to 85 in the summer. Portland averages 38 inches of rain a year.

In Southwest Oregon, a complex weather pattern known as the Brookings Effect creates warmer weather in a banana belt on the coast.

Central Oregon is on the cusp of the Cascade Mountain Range, wedged between the mountains and the high desert. Lows in the winter drop to the mid-20s, with snowfall reaching only a couple feet at the base of the mountain and to the mid-80s in the summer. The winds in the Columbia Gorge are especially strong in summer, which makes it a great spot for windsurfing.

Eastern Oregon experiences a greater variation of temperatures, hovering in the teens through the winter with several feet of snow to the mid-90s in the summer. Eastern Oregon is a desert surrounded by a few mountain ranges, and it receives relatively little rainfall.

Oregon has mColumbia River Gorgeore micobreweries per capita than any other state in the country, and is home to over 100 wineries.  Portland claims more than 30 distinctly flavored beers and has won many national microbrewery competitions.  Oregon is also among the top producers of horseradish, peppermint, strawberries, filberts (hazelnuts), beef and christmas trees in the United States. 

Oregon was admitted to the union on February 14, 1859, becoming the 10th largest state in the United States.  The Cascade mountains run the entire length of Oregon, with Mt. Hood its highest peak at 11,235 feet.  The Pacific Ocean forms the western border, producing some fantastic scenery along its rugged coastline.  Hells Canyon is the deepest river-carved canyon in the United States, at 7,900 feet deep.  The population of Oregon is a scant 3.47 million, with most of  the population living in the Portland Metropolitan Area (2,149,056).  Portland is Oregon's largest city, with a population of 503,891 as of 1998, followed by Eugene (128,240), Salem (126,702), Gresham (85,021), and Beaverton (62,111).  Portland is also the 6th fastest growing major city in the country over the last decade, with an increase in population of almost 16% over 1990.

Oregon is the home to many large corporations, including Nike, Intel, Norm Thompson, Avia, Adidas, Jantzen, Pendleton, and Columbia Sportswear. 

Oregon is a dramatic land of many changes. From the rugged seacoast, the high mountain passes of the Oregon Cascades, the lush greenery and magnificent waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, to the lava and Ponderosa pines of the high desert, Oregon's natural beauty has been preserved for all to experience and enjoy.

Hike along the beach in the early morning and watch for whales. Enjoy the solitude of miles and miles of Oregon's public beaches. The historic Columbia River Highway is the best way to view the magnificent vistas and waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge. There are also 35 wilderness areas, 14 national forests and Crater Lake, Oregon's national park, and at 1,932 feet, the deepest lake in the United States, for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. We love beautiful Oregon, and we just wanted to share it with you!


For more information on Oregon:

The Oregon Directory      Links to everything Oregon

Photo Gallery                 Our photos of the state of Oregon

Portland                         Our area-specific pages about Oregon's largest city.

Scuba Diving                   Links and information about Scuba in Oregon.

Golf                                Links and information about Golf in Oregon.

Mountaineering          Mt. Hood, Middle Sister, South Sister, and More!

Backpacking & Hiking  Olallie Lake, Mt. St. Helens, and More!

Mountain Biking           Our Central Oregon Trail Guide, Summit to Surf, and more!

Soccer                              Links and information about Portland area Soccer!

Vancouver, WA             The other city in the Portland-Vancouver Area!


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