1. In 1858, the Willamette Valley Railway Company was incorporated with the goal of building a railway from Portland to Eugene, Oregon. This railway would eventually become part of the Southern Pacific Railroad system.
2. On May 11, 1910, a massive forest fire broke out near the town of Heppner, Oregon. The fire burned for two days and ultimately killed 248 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster in Oregon's history.
3. In 1930, the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River began generating hydroelectric power. The dam was a key component of the New Deal's effort to bring electricity to rural areas in the Pacific Northwest.
4. On May 11, 1978, the Mt. St. Helens volcano in southwestern Washington State erupted. The eruption caused enormous damage to the surrounding area, and killed 57 people.
5. The first Oregon State Penitentiary was opened on May 11, 1866 in Salem. The prison housed 10 inmates at its inception, and has since expanded to become the largest correctional facility in the state.
5 Fun Facts About May 11 In Oregon History
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