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Oregon’s Most Prominent

From athletes to TV personalities to business tycoons to writers–below are some of the most prominent people from Oregon.

Danny Ainge (1959) was an Oregon-born basketball player from Eugene. He was a Wooden Award recipient during his basketball years in college while also playing baseball professionally with the Toronto Blue Jays.

It was not long after that he was drafted to play with the Boston Celtics that ended his baseball stint with the Blue Jays. As a Celtic, he starred for two championships and gained the honor of being the second NBA player in history to score nine hundred three-point shots in his career. When he retired, he coached the Portland Trail Blazers for a brief period.

Beverly Cleary (1916 – ) is most well known for her Ramona books that include Ramona’s World, Ramona Forever, and several more. She was a prolific writer of more than thirty books and an awarded writer for her works which include children’s books.

However, she did not begin writing until her thirties despite it being something she has always wanted to do due to lack of time. She studied at the University of Washington to be a librarian after having grown up on a family farm in McMinnville Oregon.

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834 – 1915) lived mostly in Lafayette and is a prominent female suffrage advocate, leader, and activist. She worked as a journalist during her time.

Dick Fosbury (1947 – ) was a Portland-born Olympic gymnast who invented the Fosbury Flop move in high jumping which involved flipping over the bar backward. He set an Olympic record in 1968.

Matt Groening (1954 – ) is the brains behind The Simpsons which is now considered the longest-running prime-time animated show in history. His father was a cartoonist who encouraged his creativity from a young age.

After college, he moved to LA to become a writer, but having no luck in this endeavor, he began sending comic strips to his friends back home entitled Life in Hell, which still appears in newspapers. The unintentional success of the strip caught the eye of TV producer James Brooks who hired Matt to develop what is now The Simpsons.

Chief Joseph, also known as Young Joseph was part of the Nez Perce tribe of Wallowa Valley. He was a peaceful leader but later on was forced into war in the 1870s because of problems with white settlement. He tried to lead his people to Canada on a thousand mile trek but was forced to surrender when his people were starved, freezing, and dying. He relocated to Oklahoma but later returned to Wallowa to encourage his fellow natives to lead better lives.

Phil Knight is presently the CEO, president and chairman of Nike. He was a Business Administration graduate from the University of Oregon and was a track athlete. His business venture started out when he and his former track coach invested a thousand dollars to start Nike, which was at the time named Blue Ribbon Sports and would later be successful enough to be one of the leaders in the sports shoe market.

Lindsay Jean Wagner (born June 22, 1949) is the actress best known for her role as Jaime Sommers in the TV series The Bionic Woman for which she won an Emmy. In 2013, she began a teaching career at the San Bernardino Valley College as an adjunct faculty member for acting and directing.



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Activities To Enjoy In Oregon

There are a number of unique experiences you can encounter in Oregon. Below are some of the top picks that can make your Oregon trip all the more memorable.


Crabbing is an Oregon thing. All you need are a few crabbing pots and a decent little boat to get you started. You will be catching a lot of those Dungeoness crabs that the North is quite popular for. Its sweet and tender flesh is definitely worth the effort to go crabbing, but the act of crabbing itself is a unique and fun experience on its own.

If you do not have the necessary materials to go crabbing, there are quite some places where you can rent them since crabbing is quite a proliferative activity in the area. Beware though, if you do go crabbing, you might be in for some real problem since these coasts are their natural habitat too. To keep them off your business, you can opt for mink or chicken as bait since they are not attracted to these, unlike when you are using bait that had been caught from the sea.

Lastly, make sure you bring a measuring tape or rule to measure the crabs you catch. Only keep the biggest ones you find and release the rest. Catching crabs that are too young can get you in trouble with marine conservation in the state. Catching juvenile crabs also puts the crab population at risk, so it is all for the better to just follow the rules with crabbing.

Food Tripping

Many eats in Oregon boasts of super fresh locally sourced ingredients that come from the state’s backyard. The state is positively teeming with farms, rivers, vineyards, seas, and dairies that make these fresh and excellent ingredients accessible to almost any local establishment.

In Oregon, you can be assured that your food is made with only the best and the freshest. What is more is that you can cut on cost with eating too because food comes with no sales tax. The bounty of the state can be tasted with every plate.

Day Trips and Hiking

Parks and preserved natural areas offer hiking trips that are perfect for the outdoor person. Just make sure to be equipped with the right gear to battle the weather and face the terrain of great North America.

If you are not that into the great outdoors, you can always go for day tours which are offered by various cities in Oregon. They give you tours of historic sites, monuments, museums, parks, and other places of interest that you might find appealing.

Wine Tasting

Since Oregon is positively teeming with farms and wineries, it is one of the best places to visit for wine tasting. There are some companies that offer a wine tasting tour that takes you to the scenic vineyards and offer a great variety of wines to explore. This is a great getaway for amateur wine connoisseurs, friends, or even couples who like to have a deeper appreciation for wine and at the same time explore the beauty of the northern country.


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Oregon Across the Centuries

Geologic Activity

Much like many places that are rich in landscape, Oregon’s hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes are a result of millions of years’ worth of geologic activity involving massive floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions long before the arrival of the first inhabitants.

Even with the native inhabitants that have pitched home in the terrains of the state, these geologic activities have been noted and accounted for. For example, what was once the tallest mountain in the region, Mount Mazama, experienced an eruption so severe that the mountain reduced itself by a full kilometer. This was witnessed by natives who were inhabitants of the area and recognized it as a great battle between the mountain god and the sky god.

These geologic activities are what led to create the scenic terrain and landscape that many nature lovers enjoy so much in Oregon.

Native Inhabitants

Much of the earliest discoveries about the most probable first inhabitants of the state were made by archaeologist Luther Cressman when he discovered sage bark sandals that dated more than thirteen thousand years ago, around the area of Fort Rock Cave. He later found more evidence around the Paisley Caves supporting his previous evidences.

By around 8000 BC, there is believed to be settlements of tribes all around the state, mostly concentrated along the Colombia river. Many native American groups have made Oregon their settlement, including the Chinook, Bannock, Chasta, Takelma, and a lot more.

European Exploration

During the 19th century, the earliest official European explorers came by Oregon, at first, only to seek passage to the Northwest by sea and by land. Later on, traders, Christian missionaries, and even immigrants came along.

These explorations were positively welcomed by the natives because of the opportunities brought about by trade. However, it would later be noted that diseases brought about by the foreigners would later become the downfall of the native tribes. These explorations started when the Spanish sighted south of Oregon in the 1500s and continued with the British explorations in the 1700s to the 1800s.

Pioneer Settlement

The first official permanent white settlement was Fort Astoria, established and funded by American businessmen. The Oregon Trail which was what immigrants took to settle permanently in the region was established at around 1830. Most of these immigrants were Christian missionaries who wanted to convert natives to Christianity.

The trail brought many new settlers to the area, and soon a government was set up by need as the settlers have begun acquiring property and participating more actively in communities. Native populations were later pushed back to Indian reservations where they set up casinos where state laws do not apply, to curb looming poverty.

Modern Times

In the 1900s, the construction of the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia river prompted a lot of industrial growth. Oregon, by this time, was providing a significant amount of power, food, and lumber in the developing Northwest. However, due to the multiple and varied inhabitants that have come and still occupied the area,  conflict is always at present.

There was also a vile history of racial discrimination and minority discrimination in the state. The Oregon Supreme Court itself declared in the 90s that minorities were more likely to be incarcerated, thanks to institutionalized discrimination with which it prescribes a more multicultural exposure and training of individuals in the justice system.



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Historical Landmarks to Check Out in Oregon

While the time machine is yet to be invented, we can always walk back in time with the remnants of the past that our ancestors have left for us. Perhaps that is why historical landmarks are always a fascinating prospect when touring a place such as Oregon.

Peter Iredale Shipwreck

You will not find any leftover booty here, but you will find a ton of history in its place. The remnants of the gigantic Peter Iredale ship on the coast of Oregon near Hammond.

Kin Wah Chung Heritage Site

Historically, when the Oregon trail was opened, some immigrants came from so far east –as far as China. There were Chinese settlers that took part in the history of Oregon. This heritage site is a Chinese apothecary turned museum in John Day that lets you step way back in time to the 1870s.

Lewis and Clark

This national historical park at Fort Clatsop allows you to get a view of American explorers Lewis and Clark’s day-to-day life and living conditions when they once spent an entire winter in this picturesque site.

Tillamook Air Museum

Considered the biggest clear-span wooden structure in the world –it is a simple wonder to behold. This world war two blimp hangar now houses an astounding aviation museum.

End of Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre

This is actually the exact spot where the historic Oregon trail ended. Take a walk through history with the center’s multimedia exhibits. It also features entertaining and educational re-enactments during the diaspora of immigrants from the South and East towards what is now Oregon.

Fort Astoria

Built with full-girth timbres just as you would have seen in period movies, fort Astoria was once the Pacific Fur company’s main trading post. It has a colorful history being the first American owned settlement in Oregon and then the first British port in the Pacific coast.

Timberline Lodge

Situated near the summit of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge is a safe and cozy respite for skiers and visitors for a hot and hearty meal with a beautiful view of the snowy summit and the surrounding forests. It is listed as a national historic landmark by the US.


The quaint and quiet gold mining town if Jacksonville houses a number Oregon’s oldest buildings. Walking down the streets of Jacksonville feels like walking back in time with the streets lined with old buildings that are similar to those you see in Wild West movies.

Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre

Located near Baker City, this actual historical site offers re-enactments and informative interactions. On top of that, you can fully attest that you are along the Oregon trail because you will see actual ruts made by the actual hundreds of wagons that passed through the trail.

Pittock Mansion

If you have never been inside an actual mansion, this one is open to the public. It was built in the 1900s and is kept the real deal through rigorous and meticulous preservation.



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Experiencing the Vast Beauties of Oregon

If you have not paid a visit yet, you are missing out on a lot. Oregon has a lot to offer that you cannot find just in any other state.

Oregon Across the Centuries

Take a brief look at the state’s history across the Centuries and even across the millennia–from the beginning of the formation of what is now the breathtaking landscapes that the state boasts to proudly of to the first settlers and up to its modern history.

Oregon’s Most Prominent

If you find people interesting, Oregon has its share of celebrities to offer. From business tycoons to actors to writers, tribe leaders, and artists–Oregon has it all. Do not be alarmed when you run into someone famous in restaurants and malls; these things happen all the time.

Why Visit Oregon

If you still are on the fence as to whether or not you should pay a visit, you should take a look at the list of things that everybody loves about Oregon and why you should go. Let us look at the many reasons why Oregon is worth the trip.

What to Pack for a Trip to Oregon

Once you have made up your mind about that visit, it is best to come prepared. There are a few distinct necessities that you need to consider specifically when traveling to Oregon to make your stay more convenient and enjoyable.

Historical Landmarks to Check Out in Oregon

Once you have made it there, you would want to take a look at the state’s rich history in the flesh. There are a lot of museums and historical sites that offer you entertaining and educational information. It is not all about the people and the adventure because heritage is also a rich aspect that adds to the overall allure of the place.

Activities to Enjoy in Oregon

You will never get bored in Oregon, especially if you love the great outdoors.

What to Eat in Oregon

After all that activity and all those sightseeing trips, you would want to get filled up and not just by any common food, but by true Oregon delicacies that will complete your Oregon experience.

Top Oregon Destinations for Nature lovers

Among all the nature destinations that Oregon has to offer, if you are crunching on time, there is a list of the top sites you should not miss out.

Oregon Cities to Visit

The state is home to many cities, and each of them has their distinct characteristics and offerings for visitors, depending on your taste and preference. Browsing which city fits your personality will convince you to make Oregon your primary destination.

Oregon Animals to Avoid When Visiting

You would want to be safe when in the great outback of Oregon. Moreover, since Oregon is rich in nature and wildlife, there are a few of these locals that you should avoid to keep your trip safe and the animals undisturbed.



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Oregon Animals to Avoid When Visiting

Oregon is most popularly known for its scenic and natural beauty. That is why most visitors want to take advantage of the wonderful outdoor environment that Oregon has to offer. Usually, it is most recommended to visit Oregon in the summer where it is fairly warm and considerably dry to be able to trek the trails and enjoy the view.

However, every visitor should be made aware that in the peak summer months where everyone is out exploring the hills and valleys of Oregon, so are the animals; and they are not exactly as welcoming as the locals are.


One of the most notorious snakes in the world and Oregon’s only venomous snake, you should be on the lookout for any of these guys when out trekking in the Oregonian wild. You will know one right away when you see one as there are no other snakes with a rattle at the tip of the tail. The good thing about these snakes is that they mostly just want to be left alone and do not usually have the tendency to attack a human unless cornered or threatened.


Also known as mountain lions, cougars are natives of the state and are found all over. There are presently around five thousand cougars in the region and sightings have become more and more common. Upon sighting a cougar, it is advised that you do not run away as the animal may run after you.

Experts say that you should stand firm, keep eye contact with the cougar, talk loudly and use your arms to make you seem larger. The cat should back away, but if it does not, the state’s wildlife department advises that you fight back with any items available to you such as sticks, rocks, tools, etc.


There are approximately twenty species of ticks that are endemic to Oregon, but you should only be on the watch for four of them. They are usually encountered late in the spring or early in the summer when it is neither too cool nor too hot. If you find that you have a tick attached to you, remove it promptly and seek for professional medical help as some of these ticks may carry illnesses like Lyme disease.

Black Bears

Do not let the name fool you; these furry giants come in a wide assortment of colors including brown, blond and black. According to the wildlife department, there are about 30,000 that roam around Oregon, and this large number, paired with humans continually invading their territory, encounters with these big guys have become increasingly common. Because of this, people are advised to keep their trash to lessen the likelihood of bear encounters since trash usually attracts them to come and forage for food among the leftovers, and allow the bears to become habituated into coming into human settlements.


There are about five hundred species of bees that call Oregon home. If you are allergic to bee stings, you should avoid these little buzzers and carry your emergency antihistamine at all times while traveling. If you are of sound health, a sting may be nasty, but beware that bees are protected in the area since they play a very crucial role in pollinating plants and balancing the ecosystem.



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