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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oregon: Land of Many Changes

This Day in History: February 14, 1859

Beaver photo by Ilyes Laszlo on Flickr / Wikimedia Commons.
Oregon is known as The Beaver State. Its nickname originated in the early 19th century during a time when fur hats were fashionable and Oregon's streams were an important source of beaver pelts. Trapping routes laid out by early fur trappers and traders later became known as The Oregon Trail, which was only passable on foot or by horseback. Thousands of pioneers traveled this 2,000 mile east-west large wagon-wheeled route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The state motto of Oregon was changed in 1987 from "The Union" established in 1859 to “She Flies With Her Own Wings.
Crater Lake, Oregon © copyright 2007 Roy Tennant / FreeLargePhotos.com.
Individualistic, eccentric and freethinking: a mix that's intrinsically "Made in Oregon." These traits belong not just to the people of this diverse state, but also to the landscape itself. From Crater Lake to the High Cascades to the perilous Pacific coastline, this state is full of natural beauty. From Lewis and Clark's search for "land's end" to the thousands of emigrants who arrived via the Oregon Trail, the state has always attracted the adventurous type.
Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Founded as a refuge from disputes over slavery, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its original state Constitution. As the American Civil War raged in the East and South, U.S. troops were withdrawn from posts in Oregon (also Washington Territory) and sent east. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865. In the 1880s, the growth of railroads helped market the state's lumber, wheat, and the rapid growth of its cities.

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
It is surrounded by Washington to the north, California to the south,
on the southeast and Idaho to the east.

 Oregon State Flag
 The Oregon state flag was adopted in 1925.
It is the only U.S. state flag displaying different images on front and back.

 Western Meadowlark

The western meadowlark was chosen as the state bird of Oregon in 1927
by the state's school children in a poll sponsored by the Oregon Audubon Society.
The western meadowlark is a familiar songbird of open country
across the western two-thirds of the continent.

Oregon Grape

The Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), was designated the Oregon state flower in 1899.
The Oregon grape is a shrub native to much of the Pacific coast.

The grape plant bears dainty yellow flowers in early summer.

The Oregon grape plant bears dark blue berries that ripen late in the fall.
The fruit is tart and bitter, containing large seeds, but can be
used in cooking, i.e., to make jelly locally. The inner bark of
the larger stems and roots can be used to make yellow dye.

 For the State Symbols of Oregon click HERE!

Oregon’s state song was the result of a 1920 contest sponsored by the Society of Oregon Composers. Five judges chose John A. Buchanan’s poem from 212 entries, and Society vice-president Henry B. Murtagh set the poem to music. Buchanan was a city judge in Astoria and a former state legislator. Murtagh was well-known silent-film theater organist, then living in Portland. The Society shortened and edited Buchanan’s poem, “Oregon” and renamed it “Oregon, My Oregon.” The Oregon legislature officially designated “Oregon, My Oregon” as the state song in 1927.
Source: The Oregon Encyclopedia

Land of Many Changes

From the rugged seacoast
Inland to high mountain passes
A swath of forest hills
Gather as though in masses

Multnomah Falls and Benson Bridge, Oregon
  Lush greenery, natural beauty
Surround magnificent waterfalls
 Solitude along surf-smoothed beaches
The windswept Pacific coastline calls

Looking southward across the estuary and beach at Yachats, Oregon.
Tall blackish-brown Ponderosa pines
 Whose bright green needles sway
Rise tall on the mountainside
Adding splendor to the day

Pinus ponderosa en.wikipedia.org
Hiking in the early morning
Amid relentless clear, blue skies
One stands on the edge of silence
In awe with wide open eyes

Mirror Lake Trail
Snow-capped mountain peaks
Lie majestic in the distance

Mirrored images on a lake
Capture life in its existence

Once a land unexplored
Where native peoples settled in
The call Westward

Destined a trail to begin

Early Wagon Train
Pioneers welcomed the beauty
Where ended the Oregon Trail
Having traversed 2000 miles
 By covered wagon not rail

©2014 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults 

Oregon Facts and Trivia

  Next state by month: #48 Arizona - Feb 14, 1912