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Oregon Almanac: Dance to Hot Springs

Square dancing, reflecting Oregon's pioneer heritage and friendly character, was declared the official state dance in 1977.

Square dancing, reflecting Oregon's pioneer heritage and friendly character, was declared the official state dance in 1977.

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Dance, State
In 1977, the Legislature declared the Square Dance to be the Oregon state dance. The dance is a combination of various steps and figures danced with four couples grouped in a square. The pioneer origins of the dance and the characteristic dress are deemed to reflect Oregon’s heritage. The lively spirit of the dance exemplifies the friendly, free nature and enthusiasm that are a part of the Oregon character.

 

Father of Oregon, Dr. John McLoughlin

Father of Oregon, Dr. John McLoughlin

Deaths: 32,747 (2011)

 

Divorces: 14,470 (2011)

 

Electoral Votes for President: 7

 

Fair, Oregon State: Early History
1858: The State Fair was unofficially started by a group of farmers known as the Oregon Fruitgrowers Association.
1861: The first official Oregon State Fair was held along the Clackamas River in the Gladstone/Oregon City area.
1862: The second State Fair took place in Salem, at the same location where it is held today.
1871: Women’s suffrage activists Susan B. Anthony and Abigail S. Duniway camped at the State Fairgrounds during an extended visit to Oregon.

 

Father of Oregon
The 1957 Legislature bestowed upon Dr. John McLoughlin the honorary title of “Father of Oregon” in recognition of his great contributions to the early development of the Oregon Country. Originally
Dr. McLoughlin came to the Northwest region in 1824, as a representative of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

 

Also see related learning resource.

 

The Chinook Salmon is the state fish.

The Chinook Salmon is the state fish.

Fish, State
The Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tsha­wytscha), also known as the spring, king or tyee salmon, is the largest of the Pacific salmons and the most highly prized for the fresh fish trade. Declared the Oregon state fish by the 1961 Legislature, the Chinook Salmon is found from southern California to the Canadian Arctic. Record-sized catches of 53 inches and 126 pounds have been reported.

 

Also see related learning resource.

 

The Oregon state flag.

The Oregon state flag.
Enlarge | Reverse

Flag, State
The Oregon state flag, adopted in 1925, is navy blue with gold lettering and symbols. Blue and gold are the state colors. On the flag’s face the legend “STATE OF OREGON” is written above a shield, which is surrounded by 33 stars. Below the shield, which is part of the state seal, is written “1859,” the year of Oregon’s admission to The Union as the 33rd state. The flag’s reverse side depicts a beaver. Oregon has the distinction of being the only state in The Union whose flag has a different pattern on the reverse side. The dress or parade flag has a gold fringe, and the utility flag has a plain border.

 

Also see related learning resource.

 

The Oregon Grape bears yellow flowers.

The Oregon Grape bears yellow flowers.

Flower, State
The Legislature designated the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state flower by resolution in 1899. A low-growing plant, the Oregon Grape is native to much of the Pacific Coast and is found sparsely east of the Cascades. Its year-round foliage of pinnated, waxy green leaves resembles holly. The plant bears clusters of small yellow flowers in early summer and a dark blue berry that ripens late in the fall. The fruit can be used in cooking.

 

Also see related learning resource.

 

The state fossil. Image courtesy John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

The state fossil. Image courtesy John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Fossil, State
The Legislature designated the Metasequoia, or Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), as the Oregon state fossil by resolution in 2005. The Metasequoia flourished in the Miocene Epoch of 25 to 5 million years ago and left its record embedded in rocks across the Oregon landscape. While long extinct in Oregon, paleontologists discovered living 100-foot Metasequoia trees in a remote area of China over 50 years ago and brought specimens back to the United States for propagation, thus ensuring that live Metasequoia trees can be found today.

 

The legislature declared the pear to be the state fruit in 2005.

The legislature declared the pear to be the state fruit in 2005.

Fruit, State
The Legislature designated the pear (Pyrus communis) as the Oregon state fruit by resolution in 2005. Oregon produces a variety of pears including Comice, Anjou, Bosc and Bartlett. The pear ranks as the top-selling tree fruit crop in the state and grows particularly well in the Rogue River Valley and along the Columbia River near Mt. Hood.

 

Oregon sunstone

Oregon sunstone

Gemstone, State
The 1987 Legislature designated the Oregon sunstone as the Oregon state gemstone. Uncommon in its composition, clarity and colors, it is a large, brightly colored transparent gem in the feldspar family. The Oregon sunstone attracts collectors and miners and has been identified as a boon to tourism and economic development in southeastern Oregon counties.

 

Eagle Rock is not far from the geographic center of Oregon near Post in Crook County. (Scenic photo no. croD0110)

Eagle Rock is not far from the geographic center of Oregon near Post in Crook County. (Scenic photo no. croD0110)

Geographic Center
In Crook County, 25 miles south-southeast of Prineville.

 

Gorge, Deepest
Hell’s Canyon, Wallowa County: Up to 7,913' in depth along the Snake River, it is the deepest gorge in North America.

 

Highways, Notable

 

Historic Columbia River Highway: The 74-mile stretch of the Columbia River Highway from Troutdale to The Dalles was built from 1913 to 1922. For many years, it was designated U.S. 30. Beginning in the 1950s, Interstate 84 replaced the historic highway as the main route through the Columbia Gorge. The historic highway became a National Scenic Byway All-American Road in 1999. In 2000, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior designated it a National Historic Landmark, which recognized the highway as a significant national heritage resource. The route became the first highway in the country to be given either of these national
designations.

 

Interstate 205:The East Portland Freeway (Interstate 205), which runs in Oregon from a junction with Interstate 5 in Wilsonville north to the Glenn Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River, was built from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. It provided an eastside bypass around greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. In November 2000, the portion in Oregon was designated the “Veterans Memorial Highway.”

 

The Oregon Coast Highway looking north toward Cape San Sebastian in circa 1940. (Highway Division photo no. 370)

The Oregon Coast Highway looking north toward Cape San Sebastian in circa 1940. (Highway Division photo no. 370)

Take a 1940 Oregon Coast Tour and a 1940 Journey Across Oregon with vintage text and photos. (via Oregon State Archives Web exhibits)

Oregon 99: Originally known as the Pacific Highway, Oregon 99 runs from the Oregon/
California border north to Junction City, Oregon, where it splits into Oregon 99E and Oregon 99W. The Pacific Highway, once designated U.S. 99, U.S. 99E, and U.S. 99W, was the main north-south highway in Oregon from the 1920s until Interstate 5 replaced it in1964.

 

US 97:The 2009 Legislature designated
The Dalles–California Highway U.S. 97 the “World War II Veterans Historic Highway.” U.S. 97 runs north-south in central Oregon past World War II training sites in Rufus, Madras, Redmond, Prineville, Bend, Sunriver and Klamath Falls.
Sunriver Resort sits on the former site of Camp Abbot, a World War II combat engineers training center.

 

US 101: Completed in the 1930s, the Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101) runs the entire length of Oregon’s Pacific Coast from Astoria on the Columbia River to the Oregon/California border. The highway was designated an Oregon Scenic Byway in 1991 and a National Scenic Byway All-American Road in 2002.

 

Historian Laureate
For his years as keeper of Oregon’s memory and heritage, the 1989 Legislature named Thomas Vaughan as historian laureate of Oregon. His dedicated leadership and distinguished record of professional study and publication brought worldwide recognition to the Oregon Historical Society and contributed greatly to historical interest and knowledge. Vaughan died in 2013.

 

Hot Springs
Notable hot springs: Alvord, Austin, Bagby, Belknap, Bigelow, Blue Mountain, Breitenbush, Couger (Terwilliger), Crane, East Lake, Echo Rock, Hart Mt. (Antelope), Hot Lake, Hunter’s, Juntura, Kah-Nee-Ta, Kropp, Lehman, Luce, McCredie, Olene Gap, Paulina Lake, Snively, Summer Lake, Umpqua, Wall Creek, Weberg, Whitehorse

 

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