History of Oregon by Oregon Historical Society

Welcome to the Oregon History Project

The Oregon History Project is an online resource for learning about Oregon's past. In these pages, historians and writers can help you explore the history of Oregon through the perspectives of the people who helped shape Oregon.

Oregon Bathers, 1895
Tourism Oswald West Cannon Beach cannon Highway 101 Tom McCall Fight for the Beaches
Tourism Oswald West Cannon Beach Highway 101 Tom McCall Fight for Beaches

John Mitchell A brief history of SCANDAL! in Oregon politics. The liars, the crooks, the malcontents and the people who cleaned up after them.

Oregon TimeWebTake an interactive look at Oregon history with the Oregon TimeWeb. Build your own timeline using the TimeWeb tools and experience firsthand the fun of historical inquiry.


Irish Immigration

Nearly twelve percent of Oregon's population is of Irish ancestry. Many Irish American Oregonians are descendents of Irish immigrants traveling the Oregon Trail to the Willamette Valley and Morrow and Lake counties. Read more...



"Ocian in View! O! the joy"

Since William Clark recorded what he thought was his first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean in 1805 (he was actually still 20 miles away), millions of people have witnessed the unique beauty—and severe weather—of the Oregon Coast. Oregonians have spent over one hundred years protecting their beaches, even as enterprising residents increased access through railways and road building for the many tourists attracted to landmarks like Haystack Rock and Nye Beach. Read more about the Oregon Coast, its geologic features, communities, roads, and the conservation movement dedicated to preserving it all.

The Natural Setting

The Oregon coast is a sliver of land between the mountains and the sea, almost three hundred miles long and about fifty miles wide on the average, measured from the high-tide mark to the crest of the Coast Range. The landscape feels rough and unfinished, perhaps because its geological story is still being told. Read More…

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