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Although many Indian tribes lived in the Oregon region and several explorers had made their way to its coast, the first permanent white settlement wasn't established until the early 1800's. Astoria, built by traders from the Pacific Fur Company in 1811, is the oldest permanent American settlement that exists west of the Rocky Mountains.
Thousands of settlers were traveling west along the Oregon Trail by 1842, in the great migration. And, in 1850, the Donation Land Claim Act combined with the forced relocation of the regions native population, drew an even greater number of settlers into Oregon.
On February 14, 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state and designated Salem as the capital. After statehood, the region began growing more rapidly as people moved west to find opportunities in farming, mining and lumber mills which had became a leading industry for the state.
The states vast supply of trees is still a major part of the state’s economy. The lumber and wood products industry generates over $3 billion per year and the paper and allied manufacturing industry brings the state almost $890 million annually.
Agriculture still plays an important role; the state produces more peppermint than any other and ranks second in the production of hops, snap beans, onions, prunes and red raspberries. Oregon has also steadily developed into a manufacturing state producing aluminum, chemicals, electronic equipment and building products.
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