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In One Ear: Happy Birthday, Oregon

A few odd Oregon facts
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on February 16, 2018 12:01AM

In celebration of Oregon’s 159th birthday as a state on Valentine’s Day, a few weird Oregon facts are in order, courtesy of ( (The Oregon Tourist Map shown is courtesy of

Oregon residents own a quarter of the U.S. total llama population. The name Oregon is thought to be derived from the French word “ouragan,” which means “hurricane” (think 2007’s Great Coastal Gale).

Oregon is the only state with an official state nut; although one could argue there are plenty of unofficial ones. Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state. One was Idiotville, in the Tillamook Forest, so remote, it was thought you’d have to be an idiot to live there.

Oregon is sixth in the nation for Bigfoot sightings (Washington is No. 1), but first for the tallest barber shop pole in the world, at 72 feet, in Forest Grove. And finally, our state is also home to the largest single organism on earth, the Oregon Humongous Fungus, a honey mushroom that covers 2,200 acres, and is estimated to be 2,400-plus years old. Too bad it’s not a truffle.


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