Portal:Oregon

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The Oregon Portal

Raised-relief map of Oregon

Relief map of Oregon


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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Oregon Trail, by Albert Bierstadt (1869)
Credit: Albert Bierstadt (1869)

"Oregon Trail", Oil on canvas, 31 x 49" (78.74 x 124.46 cm), displayed at Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Pioneers traveled across the Oregon Trail, one of the main overland migration routes on the North American continent, in wagons in order to settle new parts of the United States of America during the 19th century.

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Frank Black performing at San Diego Street Scene festival in 2005
Frank Black (born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV on April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. Active since 1985, Black is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, where he performed under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under his current pseudonym. After releasing two albums with 4AD, he left the label and formed a backing band, Frank Black and the Catholics. Black reformed the Pixies in 2004 and continues to release solo records while touring and recording with the band. Black's vocal style has varied from a screaming, yowling delivery as lead vocalist of the Pixies to a more measured and melodical style in later Pixies' albums and solo career. His cryptic lyrics mostly explore unconventional subjects, such as surrealism, incest and Biblical violence, along with dam collapses, science fiction and surf culture. His use of atypical meter signatures, loud-quiet dynamics and distinct preference for live-to-two-track recording in his career as a solo artist give him a unique style in alternative rock. As frontman of the Pixies, Black's songs (such as "Where Is My Mind?" and "Debaser") received praise and citations from contemporaries, including Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Cobain once said that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt at trying to "rip off the Pixies".

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Waldschmidt Hall at U of P

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Obverse side of the Lewis and Clark dollar
The Lewis and Clark Exposition dollar was a commemorative gold coin struck in 1904 and 1905 as part of the United States Government's participation in the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, held in the latter year in Portland, Oregon. Designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, the coin did not sell well and less than a tenth of the authorized mintage of 250,000 was issued. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, the first American overland exploring party to reach the Pacific Coast, was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Between 1804 and 1806, its members journeyed from St. Louis to the Oregon coast and back, providing information and dispelling myths about the large area obtained by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Portland fair commemorated the centennial of that trip. The coins were, for the most part, sold to the public by numismatic promoter Farran Zerbe, who had also vended the Louisiana Purchase Exposition dollar. As he was unable to sell much of the issue, surplus coins were melted by the Mint. The coins have continued to increase in value, and today are worth between hundreds and thousands of dollars, depending on condition. The Lewis and Clark Exposition dollar is the only American coin to be "two-headed", with a portrait of one of the expedition leaders on each side.

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American Beaver
Western Meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon-grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas-fir
Metasequoia
Sunstone

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Wallowa Mountains
Credit: Fbolanos
The Wallowa Mountains in summer as seen from the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters/Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center in Enterprise. From left to right the peaks are: East Peak, Aneroid Mountain, Bonneville Mountain, Chief Joseph Mountain, Sacajawea Peak, Twin Peaks and Ruby Peak.

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Oden in 2008
I kinda looked at my mom and said, 'I'm out for the season? You kidding me?'
Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers and NBA overall 2007 #1 draft pick

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Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon

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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5