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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Oregon Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on December 3, 2020

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Oregon ranks 33rd among states and provinces with markers in this database. Oregon is a state in the United States of America located in the American West. It is also in the Northwest region. Oregon is some 98 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 4.2 million people. The state is divided into 36 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Oregon we have discovered historical markers in 178 cities and towns lying in 176 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,072 historical markers in Oregon, by our count. We have cataloged 1,066 historical markers and 38 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,106 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another six historical markers in Oregon that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Oregon marker in the database, Dekum Building, was added June 13, 2007. It was photographed in Portland in Multnomah County. The last one added was submitted on November 25, 2020, and titled Historic Land Survey Monument. It is in Medford in Jackson County and had been erected in 1985. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Oregon was erected in 1911. It was this one: Medford Public Library, and one of our correspondents found it in Medford in Jackson County on January 12, 2018.

Oregon Historical Topics
294 • Settlements and Settlers
260 • Industry and Commerce
161 • Roads and Vehicles
146 • Notable Buildings
128 • Native Americans
116 • Waterways and Vessels
111 • Exploration
58 • Horticulture and Forestry
57 • Railroads and Streetcars
49 • Natural Features
    ... and others ...

Oregonians don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Oregon about Settlements and Settlers—294 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 260 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic was also Dekum Building, added June 13, 2007. It had been erected in Portland in Multnomah County. The last one submitted was submitted on October 24, 2020, and titled Cascade Falls Portage. It had been erected in Cascade Locks in Hood River County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1916. It is The Oregon Trail, found in Rhododendron in Clackamas County on January 6, 2018.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Oregon? What we know is that Original Stash is the most viewed entry in the database from Oregon since it was added in 2007. It is located near Viola in Clackamas County. This year so far, the most viewed Oregonian entry is located in Portland in Multnomah County. It is Vanport.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Oregon county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Jackson County, with 110 of them. It is followed by Klamath County with 94 markers. The Ashland area of Jackson County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 24. In Klamath County the area with the most markers, 31, is Klamath Falls.

Historical Markers in These
Oregon Counties
110 • Jackson County
94 • Klamath County
86 • Clackamas County
84 • Lane County
68 • Umatilla County
63 • Deschutes County
63 • Baker County
59 • Wasco County
58 • Clatsop County
40 • Benton County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Oregon with the most markers we find Bend in Deschutes County at the top of the list with 51 markers in or near it. It is followed closely by The Dalles in Wasco County with 50 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 97058 at the top of the list with 50 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 97058 is assigned to The Dalles OR including the Celilo, and Rowena delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 97045 with 44 markers. (97045 is assigned to Oregon City OR including the Redland delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Oregon Cities and Towns
51 • Bend
50 • The Dalles
44 • Oregon City
44 • Pendleton
41 • Astoria
40 • Baker City
38 • Eugene
33 • Corvallis
31 • Klamath Falls
24 • Ashland
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Jackson County, the first marker added to the database from there, Rich Gulch, was added October 18, 2008. in Jacksonville. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Oregon—was uploaded on November 25, 2020, and is titled Historic Land Survey Monument and was erected in 1985, in Medford. The earliest marker erected in Jackson County that we have listed was erected in 1911. It was Medford Public Library, found in Medford on January 12, 2018.

Latest entry from Oregon. Click to go there
By Douglass Halvorsen, November 25, 2020
Latest Entry from Oregon
“Historic Land Survey Monument”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Bend. The first: The City of Bend, was added February 7, 2013. The last: Kirtsis Swim Tank added on October 15, 2020. The earliest marker erected was erected in 2009: Bend Veterans Peace Memorial, added on January 26, 2018.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The Oregon Travel Information Council is currently in charge of the familiar cedar “beaver board” official historical markers found all over the state and the Oregon Department of Transportation typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the Oregon Highway Commission, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1948, and we have 100 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitus—not government affiliated—also erected numerous historical markers in Oregon, and we have 114 of their Oregon markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Oregon. Click to go there
By Barry Swackhamer, June 28, 2017
A Travel Information Council Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Oregon have been marked with history. Check out Washington County, Harney County and Gilliam County. We've only found, respectively, 2, 2, and 2 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Oregon might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Dec. 3, 2020