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Polk County, located in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, has a rich history. Here are seven interesting facts about this county:

1. Polk County was named after the 11th President of the United States - James K. Polk. The county was established in 1845 and was originally a part of Yamhill County.

2. One of the earliest European-American settlements in Polk County is Independence. This city was established in 1845 and quickly became an important center for trade in the region.

3. The county has a unique geological feature called "The Baskett Slough". It is a 2,492-acre wetland area that was named a National Wildlife Refuge in 1965. Over 200 bird species have been known to visit the area.

4. Polk County was once a major producer of hops. During the 1800s, there was a significant demand for hops for beer production. The county was among the top producers of hops in the country during that period.

5. The first newspaper in Polk County was established in 1856, called "The Oregonian". It was founded by Harvey W. Scott, who later became the editor of "The Oregonian" newspaper in Portland.

6. One of the most significant events in Polk County's history was the "The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850". This act allowed settlers to claim land that they had improved for a nominal fee. This law opened up vast stretches of land for settlement in Polk County.

7. The Monmouth Independence Historic District, which spans both the cities of Independence and Monmouth, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This district contains over 450 homes and buildings, many of which date back to the 19th century.

These are just a few interesting facts about Polk County's history. From its early settlements to its thriving present-day culture, Polk County is a vital part of the region's rich history.

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