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Facts About Oregon History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 10:18 AM

The 33rd state to join the Union, Oregon is known today for its snow-capped mountains, river gorges, and other natural wonders. This serene atmosphere belies Oregon's complex history.

Here are seven things you might not know about the Beaver State:

1. The Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819 settled several border disputes between the United States and Spain. One provision in the treaty required Spain to relinquish control of the Oregon country to the United States. The current southern border of Oregon is a result of the Adams-Onis Treaty, and the treaty was also critical in determining the U.S.-Mexico border, according to PBS.

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2. The Oregon Trail led settlers from Missouri to Oregon. Early pioneers walked the 2,000-mile trail; by 1836, wagons carried people across this overland route. The final destination was the Willamette Valley in what is now Oregon. By the mid-1840s, there were so many emigrants settling Oregon that the British gave up their rights to the territory, according to the National Park System.

3. The Gold Rush of the mid-19th century eventually wound its way up California and into Oregon. By 1850, miners were striking gold along several of Oregon's rivers. The Gold Rush in the state came to an end in the late 1860s.

4. Oregon joined the Union on February 14, 1859. In its state constitution, Oregon declared itself to be a whites-only state. White male voters defeated the idea of allowing black residency by a resounding 8,640 to 1,081, according to the Oregon History Project. At the same time, slavery was not allowed in the new state. A referendum vote rescinding the wording in the constitution did not occur until 1926.

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5. Oregon is known as the Beaver State; ironically, lax animal trapping rules severely decimated the state's beaver population in the 19th century, according to History.com. The beaver was able to make a comeback thanks to tighter regulations. Oregon pays homage to the native animal with a picture of a beaver on the reverse side of its flag. It is the only state flag to have images on both the front and the back.

6. Oregon has a state nut, the hazelnut, or filbert. Dorris Ranch became Oregon's first commercial filbert orchard and has been in operation for more than 100 years.

7. Visitors to Portland often visit the International Rose Test Garden. Begun in 1917, this is the oldest public garden in the United States devoted to testing new varieties of roses. More than 500 varieties of roses are said to bloom in the garden.

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The 33rd state to join the Union, Oregon is known today for its snow-capped mountains, river gorges, and other natural wonders. This serene atmosphere belies Oregon's complex history.
facts about oregon, history
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2015-18-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 10:18 AM
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