The state Oregon is located in the west and joined the USA as 33rd state in 1859. The derivation of the word Oregon couldn´t be clarified yet, but the state is also called the "Beaver State". The economy today is mainly based on technology businesses in Silicon Forest, whereas the traditional forestry has been squeezed out. Brands like Tektronix and Intel have settled in Silicon Forests and offer about 25.000 employments. Nevertheless the west and the north of Oregon are the most fertile and economically successful areas of the world. The population of Oregon just adds up to 3.7 million inhabitants, which is a relatively small number for a state which is three times as big as Austria. Accordingly Oregon provides lots of space for sport, nature and the myths of the Wild West. Most of the population lives in Willamette Valley in the northwest of the state. There you will find the three biggest cities: Portland, Eugene and the capital Salem. Furthermore the national park "Crater Lake" is situated in the south of the states and the crater lake of the volcano Mount Mazama is the most visited attraction.
The history of Oregon is tightly connected to the discovery of the west. More than 150 years ago thousands of pioneers from the east travelled towards the west expecting a peaceful and better life and lots of natural resources, which should enabled them to survive on their own. But even before the pioneers started their trek towards the west, president Thomas Jefferson instructed two men Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to go on an expedition aiming the exploration and mapping of the "wild" and unknown west.
During their expeditions they discovered Native Americans already having their domicile in the west. The "Corps of Discovery" started from Missouri in May 1804 and ended on the Pacific coast of Oregon one and a half year later in November 1805. This event is known as the "Lewis and Clark Expedition" and created the "Oregon Trail".