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Oregon (/ˈɒrɪɡən/ (About this sound listen)) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary along Washington state, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary along Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 164,549 residents. Portland, with 632,309 residents, is the most populous and ranks as the 26th most populous city in the United States. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 23rd largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,389,228.

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Pacific trillium in the Coast Range
Credit: Jsayre64

Pacific trillium (Trillium ovatum) with a pink hue on the petals in the Central Oregon Coast Range in Lane County.

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Ewing Young expeditions to American West
Ewing Young (1799 - February 9, 1841) was an American trapper from Tennessee who traveled the western United States before settling in Oregon Country. As a prominent citizen there, his death was the impetus for the early formation of government in that region. In 1830, Young led the first American trapping expedition to reach the Pacific Coast from New Mexico. After recuperating near Los Angeles, the group visited the San Fernando Mission, and headed north into California's great Central Valley. In California Young trapped and traded before returning to Taos. He would continue with this pattern until 1834 when Young encountered Hall J. Kelley in San Diego. Kelley invited Ewing Young to accompany him north to Oregon, but Young at first declined. After re-thinking, Young agreed to travel with Kelley and they set out in July 1834. They arrived in Oregon in 1834, arriving at Fort Vancouver on October 17th. Young settled on the west bank of the Willamette River near the mouth of Chehalem Creek, opposite of Champoeg. A few years later Young was the leader of the Willamette Cattle Company that in January 1837 traveled to California with the assistance of Lieutenant William A. Slacum on the ship Loriot, and brought back 630 head of cattle along the Siskiyou Trail helping to make Young the wealthiest settler in Oregon. In February of 1841, Young died without any known heir and without a will, creating a need for some form of government to deal with his estate, as he had many debtors and creditors among the settlers. The activities that followed his death eventually led to the creation of a provisional government in the Oregon Country.

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Exterior of Hallie Form Museum


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Sketch of a Chinook salmon
The Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, (derived from Russian чавыча), is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. It is a Pacific Ocean salmon and is variously known as the king salmon, tyee salmon, Columbia River salmon, black salmon, chub salmon, hook bill salmon, winter salmon, Spring Salmon, Quinnat Salmon, and the blackmouth. Chinook Salmon are typically divided into "races" with "spring chinook", "summer chinook", and "fall chinook" being most common. Races are determined by the timing of adult entry into fresh water. A "winter chinook" run is recognized in the Sacramento River. Chinook salmon are highly valued, due in part to their scarcity relative to other Pacific salmon along most of the Pacific coast. Described and enthusiastically eaten by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Chinook salmon is spiritually and culturally prized among certain Native American tribes. Many celebrate the first spring Chinook caught each year with "First Salmon Ceremonies". While salmon fishing is still important economically for many tribal communities, the Chinook harvest is typically the most valuable. In Oregon, the fish were often traded at The Dalles between those tribes on the river and interior tribes who lacked access to the food source. Celilo Falls on the Columbia River were a traditional fishing grounds for Native Americans until Bonneville Dam inundated the falls. Dams on the Columbia and other rivers have been partly responsible for steep declines in salmon runs. The Chinook is the official state fish of Oregon.

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American beaver
Western meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas fir



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Lan Su Chinese Garden
Credit: Cacophony
Lan Su Chinese Garden, titled the Garden of Awakening Orchids, is a walled garden enclosing a full city block, roughly 40 000 square feet (4,000 m²) in the Chinatown area of the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, USA. The garden is influenced by many of the famous classical gardens in Suzhou.

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William Paine Lord
All around us there are tangible evidences of the industrial activity of our people and the growth and development of our State, and with national legislation not unfavorable to us, the future of Oregon is full of promise of a rich inheritance to its inhabitants.
William Paine Lord, 1895, Inaugural Address

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Oregon State Capital rotunda
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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