Oregon Almanac: Hydropower Projects to State Motto

Hydroelectric Projects and Dams, Largest

McNary Dam
McNary Dam on the Columbia River near Umatilla. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
John Day Dam: Columbia River, 1971, 2,160 megawatts
The Dalles Dam: Columbia River, 1957, 2,100 megawatts
Bonneville Dam: Columbia River, 1938 (produced first power in 1937, first commercial power in 1938), 1,218 megawatts
McNary Dam: Columbia River, 1954, 980 megawatts

Insect, State

In 1979, the Legislature designated the Oregon Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio oregonius) as the state insect. A true native of the Northwest, the Oregon Swallowtail is at home in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River watershed. This strikingly beautiful butterfly has a wingspan of 2-1/2 to 3 inches and is bright yellow and black with a reddish-orange hindspot.

Jails and Prisons

31 jails operated by county sheriffs
14 institutions operated by the Department of Corrections, including the Oregon State Penitentiary, which is Oregon’s only maximum security prison 
One federal correctional institution

Judicial Districts

Crater Lake
Crater Lake in the Cascade Mountains is the deepest lake in the United States. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

Lake, Deepest

Crater Lake: 1,946' (deepest in the United States)

Lakes, Largest

Upper Klamath Lake, 61,543 surface acres
Malheur Lake, 49,700 surface acres
Note: Size may vary depending on seasons and precipitation. At times, Malheur Lake may have a larger surface area than Upper Klamath Lake.

Lakes, Number

Approximately 6,150 lakes/reservoirs 

Legal Holidays and Days of Special Observance 

New Year’s Day (observed) 1/1/19, 1/1/20, 1/1/21
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (observed) 1/21/19, 1/20/20, 1/18/21
Presidents’ Day 2/18/19, 2/17/20, 2/15/21
Memorial Day 5/27/19, 5/25/20, 5/31/21
Independence Day (observed) 7/4/19, 7/4/20, 7/5/21
Labor Day 9/2/19, 9/7/20, 9/6/21
Veterans Day (observed) 11/11/19, 11/11/20, 11/11/21
Thanksgiving Day 11/28/19, 11/26/20, 11/25/21
Christmas Day (observed) 12/25/19, 12/25/20, 12/24/21
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Yaquina Head Lighthouse north of Newport. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Whenever a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be observed as the holiday. Whenever a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be observed as the holiday.


Cape Arago Lighthouse, Coos Bay: lighted 1934; deactivated 2006
Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Port Orford: lighted 1870 
Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook: lighted 1890; deactivated 1963
Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse, Yachats (privately owned, not open to the public): lighted 1976
Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon: lighted 1896; deactivated 1939
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Florence: lighted 1894
Port of Brookings Lighthouse, Brookings (privately owned, not open to the public): lighted 1997
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, Cannon Beach: lighted 1881; deactivated 1957
Umpqua River Lighthouse, Reedsport: lighted 1894
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport: lighted 1871–74; reactivated 1996
Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport: lighted 1873


27,455 (2017)​

Microbe, State

In 2013, the Oregon Legislature designated Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the state microbe. The yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide and ethanol, an essential process for leavening bread and brewing alcoholic beverages, making Oregon an internationally recognized hub of craft brewing.

Mileage Distances, Highways and Interstates (in Oregon)

Miami Beach postcard
The sunny beaches of Miami are over 3,200 driving miles from Portland. Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 pass through Oregon, speeding travel to other major population centers.
Interstate 5: 308 miles
Interstate 84: 375 miles
U.S. 20: 451 miles
U.S. 26: 471 miles
U.S. 97: 289 miles
U.S. 101: 363 miles
U.S. 395: 384 miles 

Mileage Distances, Road (from Portland)

Albuquerque, New Mexico 1,360
Atlanta, Georgia - 2,595
Boise, Idaho - 430
Chicago, Illinois - 2,120
Denver, Colorado - 1,240
Fargo, North Dakota - 1,500
Houston, Texas - 2,270
Los Angeles, California - 965
Miami, Florida - 3,255
New York, New York - 2,895
Omaha, Nebraska - 1,655
Phoenix, Arizona - 1,335
Tabitha Moffatt Brown
The Mother of Oregon, Tabitha Moffatt Brown.
St. Louis, Missouri - 2,045
Salt Lake City, Utah - 765
San Francisco, California - 635
Seattle, Washington - 175 

Mother of Oregon

Tabitha Moffatt Brown “represents the distinctive pioneer heritage and the charitable and compassionate nature of Oregon’s people.” At 66 years of age, she financed her own wagon for the trip from Missouri to Oregon. The boarding school for orphans that she established later became known as Tualatin Academy and eventually, was chartered as Pacific University.

Motto, State

“She Flies With Her Own Wings” was adopted by the 1987 Legislature as the Oregon state motto. The phrase originated with Judge Jessie Quinn Thornton and was pictured on the territorial seal in Latin: Alis Volat Propriis. The new motto replaces “The Union,” which was adopted in 1957.