Oregon Topics: History

covered wagon
A covered wagon along a remnant of the Oregon Trail at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on Flagstaff Hill east of Baker City. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Oregon's history is one of contrasts. The state developed under the premise of maximizing the extraction of natural resources such as timber and mining products from the land, often with little regard for the consequences—either to the land or the communities. Yet at the same time it developed a strong environmental movement and communities that fought through the boom and bust cycles. Oregon's contrasts can be seen in the tensions that continue to exist between urban and rural lifestyles and philosophies. The debate continues over the question of growth versus preserving the values that make Oregon unique. These contrasts and others are discussed further in the Oregon History section as well as the following links.

Oregon and the Northwest

General resources