Brief History of Oregon

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 3 871.859 thousand people (2011)
Area: 255026.0 sq. km

According to, Oregon, one of the Pacific states, is distinguished by its natural diversity. Beaver State is located in a mountainous area. The Coast Ranges rise on the coast, behind them the Cascade Mountains rise to the east with the highest point – Hood volcano (3427 meters). These lands are abundantly irrigated by Pacific rainfall. The central regions are isolated arid regions of the Columbia Plateau, which are replaced by the Blue Mountains to the northeast. The southeast is occupied by steppes, semi-deserts of the High Desert of the Great Basin. Oregon is a seismically unsafe region. There are both active and extinct volcanoes, as well as geothermal springs.

For Oregon, lake characters (Upper-Clemmet, Harney, Malur). Crater Lake, formed in the crater of an ancient volcano, is the deepest lake in the United States. The main river system is the Columbia and its tributaries. The Willamette River Valley is the most populated and farmable region of the state.

Oregon was inhabited by the Chinook, Ne-Perse, Bannock, and Klammat tribes. In the 1770s, Spanish and English navigators explored the Oregon coast and the lower reaches of Columbia. M.Lewis and W.Clark – American land pioneers of the region (1805), whose name comes from the transformed French word “hurricane”. Until 1803, Oregon formally belonged to France and was sold to the United States. The first settlement – Astoria – has existed since 1811. The Pacific Fur Company, and later the Hudson’s Bay Company, made a great contribution to the development of Oregon, which, however, was accompanied by conflicts with the Indians. There were conflicts with the UKtrading in Oregon. As a result, in 1846 a clear boundary of the territory was drawn, and since 1859 Oregon became a state (33rd in a row).

In the cities of Portland, Salem, Bend, guests can visit a large number of themed museums, botanical gardens and parks. Oregon is famous for ski resorts and national parks. The state has several unique natural sites that attract the attention of tourists. These include Crater Lake, America’s deepest Hell Canyon, the wet coniferous forests of the Siskiyou Mountains, Mount Jefferson, and the Three Sisters Peaks.


Population: 9.477 thousand people (2010)
Area: 27.5 sq. km
Founded: 1811
Time zone: UTC-8, summer UTC-7
Altitude: 7 m
Zip code: 97103

Astoria is the seat of Clatsop County, located in the northwestern United States near the mouth of the Columbia River. It got its name from the American industrialist John Astor. See Oregon counties.


In 1811, a fort was founded on the site of the present city. It was founded by the John Astor Pacific Fur Company Expedition. It was originally the main point for the fur trade on the Pacific coast. Later, it also became the first permanent settlement in the Northwest.

After the bankruptcy of the fur company, the right to trade in furs in 1813 passed to the British. They owned it until the construction of the Oregon Way and the appearance of American settlers here. Subsequently, Astoria developed as a port and city at the mouth of the river. The first post office appeared in 1847.

From the end of the 19th century, Astoria was actively settled by immigrants – first by the Finns, later by the Chinese. They subsequently formed the bulk of the city’s population. At that time, the buildings were mostly wooden and close to each other. This resulted in downtown Astoria being destroyed by fire twice, in 1883 and 1922.

For more than a century, Astoria has been a port and a trading center at the same time. Its economy was based on fishing, seafood processing and timber trade. In 1966, the Astoria-Megler bridge was opened. Thanks to this, the existing highway was extended and connected the city with the state of Washington, which made it possible to abandon the ferry service.

Now the local economy is based on tourism and light industry. Since 1982, the port has received cruise ships in its water area.


The Astoria Column stands 38 meters high on the top of the hill. In its inner part there is a spiral staircase. On it, visitors rise to the observation deck, located at the top of the tower. It offers stunning views of the city and surrounding lands, as well as the Columbia River.

Astoria’s maritime past is revealed in exhibits at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Some of them are displayed along the river bank. Among them are flat-bottomed boats and Indian pies. In front of the museum building there is a floating lighthouse at anchor.

Against the background of old houses in the Victorian style, the house with a dome, erected by Captain George Flavel, stands out. It was built in 1886. Now it houses a museum with unique exhibits.

Fort Stevens Park is reminiscent of a military past. It covers ancient fortifications, as well as tools and vehicles located in them. The park offers tourists exciting outdoor activities, in particular cycling, hiking, swimming in Lake Coffenbury.


Population: 101.221 thousand people (2008)
Area: 57.6 sq. km
Founded: 1905
Time zone: UTC-8 summer UTC-7
Altitude: 91.7 m
Zip code: 97030, 97080, 97233

Gresham is a city in northern Oregon in Multnomah County. It is one of the settlements that form the Portland agglomeration. Gresham is the easternmost of them. It is located between the Sandy River (a tributary of the Columbia) and Johnston Creek (a tributary of the Willamette).

Even before its official appearance, Gresham had a postal code and a post office. The fact is that since 1884 a postal station, known as the Campground (“camp”), opened in this place. In those days, you could take a break from the road here, heading to Portland or the Willamette River Valley. Only in 1905, when the post station was “overgrown” with settlers, Campground was given the status of a city. At the same time, they renamed it, naming it in honor of the hero of the Civil War, a politician and the 31st Chief Postmaster of the United States, Walter Quintin Gresham.

Gresham is located near Oregon ‘s highest peak, Mount Hood Volcano (3,426 meters), which is surrounded by the Mount Hood National Forest. Even closer to the city is another popular natural attraction among vacationers – Oxbow Regional Park. In Gresham itself, a famous jazz festival is held, which sometimes attracts world stars of the genre. Otherwise, it is a typical city of “one-story America”.

Brief History of Oregon