Lane County, Oregon
|Founded||January 29, 1851|
|• Total||4,722 sq mi (12,230 km2)|
|• Land||4,553 sq mi (11,790 km2)|
|• Water||169 sq mi (440 km2) 3.6%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||77/sq mi (30/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
Lane County is one of the 36 counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 351,715, making it the fourth-most populous county in Oregon. The county seat is Eugene. It is named in honor of Joseph Lane, Oregon's first territorial governor.
Lane County was established on January 29, 1851. It was created from the southern part of Linn County and the portion of Benton County east of Umpqua County. It was named after the territory's first governor, Joseph Lane. Originally it covered all of southern Oregon east to the Cascade Mountains and south to the California border. When the Territorial Legislature created Lane County, it did not designate a county seat. In the 1853 election, four sites competed for the designation, of which the "Mulligan donation" received a majority vote; however, since it was contiguous to the "Skinner claim" both became part of the new county seat known as Eugene.
In 1846, Elijah Bristow and his wife, the former Susannah Gabbart, had become the first white settlers to build a claim cabin within the present-day boundaries of Lane County, near Pleasant Hill. They had crossed the plains to California in the previous year, and came north with Eugene F. Skinner, Captain Felix Scott, and William Dodson. As their party entered the valley between the Coast Fork and Middle Fork of the Willamette River, Bristow gazed around and exclaimed, "What a pleasant hill! Here is my home!"
In 1852, John Diamond and William Macy led an exploration party to survey a shortcut for the Oregon Trail across the Cascade Range. The shortcut over the Willamette Pass became known as the Free Emigrant Road. Around 250 wagons with 1,027 people left the usual Oregon Trail route at Vale, Oregon, and followed Elijah Elliott through the central Oregon high desert. This became known as the Elliott Cutoff. When they reached what is now Bend, they sent scouts to the south to look for the road. Once settlers in the Willamette Valley discovered the emigrants were coming, a huge rescue effort was launched as the emigrants were out of supplies and in dire condition. The emigrants of this wagon train doubled the population of Lane County in 1853.
The county has been vastly reduced from its original size by several boundary changes. One of the first changes gave it access to the Pacific Ocean, when it acquired the northern part of Umpqua County in 1853. With the creation of Wasco County in 1854, it lost all of its territory east of the Cascade Mountains. Minor boundary changes occurred with Douglas County in 1852, 1885, 1903, 1915, and 1917; with Linn County in 1907 and with Benton County in 1923.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,722 square miles (12,230 km2), of which 4,553 square miles (11,790 km2) is land and 169 square miles (440 km2) (3.6%) is water. Lane County is one of two Oregon counties that extend from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascades (the other is Douglas County.) A portion of the Umpqua National Forest is in Lane County. Portions of the Willamette, McKenzie, and Siuslaw rivers run through the county.
- Lincoln County (northwest)
- Benton County (north)
- Linn County (northeast)
- Deschutes County (east)
- Klamath County (southeast)
- Douglas County (south)
National protected areas
- Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Siuslaw National Forest (part)
- Umpqua National Forest (part)
- Willamette National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 322,959 people, 130,453 households, and 82,185 families living in the county. The population density was 71 people per square mile (27/km2). There were 138,946 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.64% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 1.13% Native American, 2.00% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 1.95% from other races, and 3.32% from two or more races. 4.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 130,453 households, out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.90% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.00% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.90% under the age of 18, 12.00% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,942, and the median income for a family was $45,111. Males had a median income of $34,358 versus $25,103 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,681. About 9.00% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.10% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 351,715 people, 145,966 households, and 86,938 families living in the county. The population density was 77.2 inhabitants per square mile (29.8/km2). There were 156,112 housing units at an average density of 34.3 per square mile (13.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.3% white, 2.4% Asian, 1.2% American Indian, 1.0% black or African American, 0.2% Pacific islander, 2.8% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 7.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 21.8% were German, 14.9% were English, 13.8% were Irish, and 5.3% were American.
Of the 145,966 households, 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.4% were non-families, and 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.87. The median age was 39.0 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,923 and the median income for a family was $55,817. Males had a median income of $43,383 versus $32,745 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,869. About 10.0% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.1% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
Lane County is the fourth-most populous county in Oregon. It grew more slowly from 2000 to 2010 than did the three larger counties, Multnomah (the most populous Oregon county), Washington and Clackamas.
The racial make up of the county is 77.9% non-Hispanic White, 1.1% African American, .9% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 6.9% mixed race of two or more, 9.9% Hispanic.
Lane County is governed by a County commission. Commissioners are elected officials and serve four-year terms. The current commissioners are:
- Joe Berney, Springfield
- Jay Bozievich, West Lane
- Heather Buch, East Lane
- Laurie Trieger, South Eugene
- Pat Farr, North Eugene
Growth in the next decades is predicted to shift away from timber and agriculture to services, manufacturing of transportation equipment, printing and publishing, and high technology. As of July 2008, PeaceHealth Medical Group is the largest private employer in Lane County.
Other unincorporated communities
- Belknap Springs
- Black Butte
- Blue River
- Bohemia City
- Camp Creek
- Cedar Flat
- Culp Creek
- Fall Creek
- Finn Rock
- Gillespie Corners
- London Springs
- Low Pass
- McCredie Springs
- McKenzie Bridge
- North Beach
- Pleasant Hill
- Searose Beach
- Triangle Lake
- Lane Education Service District
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Lane County, Oregon
- "About Us". Lane County Historical Society. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
Lane County Courthouse, NE corner of 8th Avenue and Oak Street, Eugene; Lane County Jail on left. Lane County Courthouse was built in 1898 and torn down in 1959. — Catalog Number: CS284
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- "Are Lane County's Top 10 employer's hiring?". www.kval.com. January 8, 2009.
- Velasco, Dorothy (1985). Lane County: an illustrated history of the Emerald Empire. Donovan, Dianne. Lane County Historical Society. Northridge, California: Windsor Publications. ISBN 9780897811408. OCLC 12313097.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lane County, Oregon.|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Official Lane County Website
- Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County, Oregon
- Lane County History Museum—information on the history of Lane County