Archeologists have found evidence that prehistoric hunters lived in Oregon more than 13,000 years ago. It is believed that they moved into southern Oregon from the Great Basin area of Utah and Nevada. Little is known of these people or their descendants.

On the eve of European exploration in the 16th century, there were an estimated 125,000 Indians from about 125 tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The principal tribes in Oregon were the Tillamook, Suislaw, and Kalapooia along the northern coast; the Klamath and Modoc in the southwest; and the Umatilla and the Cayuse in the northeast.

Important dates in Oregon
1579 Sir Francis Drake possibly touched the Oregon coast.
1792 Robert Gray sailed into the Columbia River.
1805 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reached the mouth of the Columbia.
1811 John Jacob Astor founded Astoria.
1819 A treaty between the United States and Spain fixed the present southern border of Oregon.
1843 The Willamette settlers at Champoeg organized a provisional government.
1846 A treaty made the 49th parallel the chief boundary between British and U.S. territory in the Oregon region.
1848 Oregon became a territory.
1850 Congress passed the Oregon Donation Land Law.
1859 Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14.
1902 Oregon adopted the initiative and referendum.
1912 The state adopted woman suffrage.
1937 Bonneville Dam was completed.
1950's McNary and The Dalles dams were built on the Columbia River.
1964 Heavy floods damaged western Oregon.
1982 Construction was completed on a second powerhouse at Bonneville Dam.
1991 Barbara Roberts became Oregon's first woman governor. She held office until 1995.