Oregon Almanac: Nut, State to Shoes, Oldest
The hazelnut, or filbert, (Corylus avellana) was named the state nut by the 1989 Legislature. Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop. The Oregon hazelnut, unlike wild varieties, grows on single-trunked trees up to 30 or 40 feet tall. Adding a unique texture and flavor to recipes and products, hazelnuts are preferred by chefs, bakers, confectioners, food manufacturers and homemakers worldwide.
Parks, State: 257 parks totaling over 109,000 acres; day use attendance of 47.63 million (July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015) ranking 3rd in nation; more than 1,000 miles of managed trails; boat docks/ramps in approximately 50 parks; 53 campgrounds
United States Rank in Total Area: 9
Land Area: 95,988 square miles
Water Area: 2,390 square miles
Total: 98,378 square miles
Coastline: 363 miles
In 2016, Governor Kate Brown named Elizabeth Woody Oregon’s Poet Laureate, noting that “Woody’s words bring to life the landscapes, creatures and people who make Oregon special.” Woody succeeds Peter Sears, Poet Laureate from 2014 to 2016. She is Oregon’s eighth poet laureate since 1921.
Born on the Navajo Nation reservation in Ganado, Arizona, Woody has lived in Warm Springs and Portland much of her life and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
Woody received the 1995 William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry from the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association and was a poetry finalist for the 1994 Oregon Book Awards. She has published poetry, short fiction and essays. Her first book of poetry Hand into Stone won a 1990 American Book Award. Other published works include Luminaries of the Humble and Seven Hands, Seven Hearts.
Oregon is ranked 39th in population density with 42 inhabitants per square mile.
1850 = 12,093
1940 = 1,089,684
1950 = 1,521,341
1960 = 1,768,687
2016 = 4,076,350
Record 24-hour maximum rainfall: 14.3" on November 6, 2006, at Lees Camp in the Tillamook County Coast Range
Average yearly precipitation at Salem: 39.7"
Record 24-hour snowfall: 39" on January 9, 1980, at Bonneville Dam
Record annual snowfall: 903" in 1950 at Crater Lake
Reservoir, Longest: Lake Owyhee - 52 miles
Partially in the State of Oregon:
Columbia River: 1,243 miles
Snake River: 1,078 miles
Entirely in the State of Oregon:
John Day River: 284 miles
Deschutes River: 252 miles
Willamette River: 187 miles
The thunder egg (geode) was named the Oregon state rock by the 1965 Legislature after rockhounds throughout Oregon voted it as their favorite rock. Thunder eggs range in diameter from less than one inch to over four feet. Nondescript on the outside, they reveal exquisite designs in a wide range of colors when cut and polished. They are found chiefly in Crook, Jefferson, Malheur, Wasco and Wheeler Counties.
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Education Service Districts 19
School Districts 197
Student population (2015–2016) 567,407
The state seal consists of an escutcheon, or shield, supported by 33 stars and divided by an ordinary, or ribbon, with the inscription “The Union.” Above the ordinary are the mountains and forests of Oregon, an elk with branching antlers, a covered wagon and ox team, the Pacific Ocean with setting sun, a departing British man-of-war ship signifying the departure of British influence in the region, and an arriving American merchant ship signifying the rise of American power. Below the ordinary is a quartering with a sheaf of wheat, plow and pickax, representing Oregon’s mining and agricultural resources. The crest is the American Eagle. Around the perimeter of the seal is the legend “State of Oregon 1859.” On September 17, 1857, the Constitutional Convention adopted a resolution that authorized the U.S. president to appoint a committee of three—Benjamin F. Burch, L. F. Grover and James K. Kelly—to report on a proper seal for the State of Oregon. Harvey Gordon created a draft, to which the committee recommended additions to be included in the state seal.
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In 1848, conchologist (shell expert) John Howard Redfield named the Fusitriton oregonensis after the Oregon Territory. Commonly called the Oregon hairy triton, the shell is one of the largest found in the state, reaching lengths up to five inches. The shells are found from Alaska to California and wash up on the Oregon coast at high tide. The Legislature designated the state shell in 1991.
Sandals that are 9,300 years old, made of sagebrush and bark, were found at Fort Rock Cave in Central Oregon in 1938 by archaeologist Luther Cressman.