Oregon Almanac: Nut, State to Shoes, Oldest

Nut, State

Cleawox Lake
Cleawox Lake at Honeyman State Park. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The hazelnut, or filbert, (Corylus avellana) was named the state nut by the 1989 Legislature. Oregon grows 99% of the entire U.S. commercial crop. The Oregon hazelnut, unlike wild varieties, grows on single-trunked trees up to 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

258 parks totaling over 112,000 acres; day use attendance of 49.97 million (July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017) ranking 3rd in nation; more than 1,000 miles of managed trails; boat docks/ramps in approximately 50 parks; 53 campgrounds

Physical Dimensions

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 

Poet Laureate

Oregon Coast
Oregon has 363 miles of coastline. Shown above is a sunset at the coast near Kissing Rock and Hunter Creek in Curry County. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
In 2018, Governor Kate Brown named Kim Stafford of Portland Oregon’s 9th poet laureate. With a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Oregon, Stafford has written award-winning books on poetry and prose. Stafford’s father William Stafford served as Oregon’s Poet Laureate from 1974 to 1989. 


Oregon is ranked 39th in population density with 42 inhabitants per square mile.
1850 = 12,093
1860 = 52,465
1870 = 90,923
1880 = 174,768
1890 = 317,704
1900 = 413,536
1910 = 672,765
1920 = 783,389
1930 = 953,786
1940 = 1,089,684
Governor Lane
Only about 12,000 people lived in Oregon when Governor Lane took office in 1849.
1950 = 1,521,341
1960 = 1,768,687
1970 = 2,091,533
1980 = 2,633,321
1990 = 2,842,321
2000 = 3,421,399
2010 = 3,831,074
2018 = 4,195,300 


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 

Rivers, Longest

John Day River
The John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Partially in the State of Oregon:
Columbia River: 1,243 miles
Snake River: 1,078 miles

Rivers, Entirely in the State of Oregon:

John Day River: 284 miles
Deschutes River: 252 miles
Willamette River: 187 miles

Rock, State

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.

Schools, Public

Education Service Districts 19
Schools 1,246
School Districts 197
Student population (2017–2018) 580,690

Seal, State

Oregon State seal
The state seal bears the inscription "The Union." Enlarge image.
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.The state seal consists of a shield, supported by 33 stars and divided by a ribbon, with the inscription “The Union.” Above the ribbon 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 ribbon is a quartering with a sheaf of wheat, plow and pickax, representing Oregon’s mining and agricultural resources. The crest is the American Eagle and around the perimeter of the seal is the legend “State of Oregon 1859.” 

Seashell, State

In 1848, conchologist 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 it the state shell in 1991.

Shoes, Oldest

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.