Corvallis is a city and the county seat of Benton County in central western Oregon, United States. It is the principal city of the Corvallis, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Benton County. Take a look below for 20 amazing and fun facts about Corvallis, Oregon, United States.
1. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 54,462.
2. Its population was estimated by the Portland Research Center to be 58,856 in 2019.
3. Corvallis is the location of Oregon State University and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.
4. Corvallis is the westernmost city in the contiguous 48 states with a population larger than 50,000.
5. In October 1845, Joseph C. Avery arrived in Oregon from the east.
6. Avery took out a land claim at the mouth of Marys River, where it flows into the Willamette River, and in June 1846 took up residence there in a log cabin hastily constructed to hold what seemed a potentially lucrative claim.
7. Avery’s primitive 1846 dwelling was the first home within the boundaries of today’s Corvallis and his land claim included the southern section of the contemporary city.
8. Avery was quickly joined by other settlers along the banks of the Willamette River, including a 640-acre claim directly to his north taken in September 1846 by William F. Dixon.
9. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 temporarily stalled development of a township, with Avery leaving his Oregon claim to try his hand at mining in the fall of that year.
10. His stay proved to be brief, and in January 1849, Avery returned to Oregon with a small stock of provisions with a view to opening a store.
11. During 1849, Avery opened his store at the site, platted the land, and surveyed a town site on his land claim, naming the community Marysville.
12. The city was possibly named after early settler Mary Lloyd, but now the name is thought to be derived from French fur trappers’ naming of Marys Peak after the Virgin Mary.
13. In the summer of 1851, Joseph Avery and William Dixon each granted back-to-back 40-acre land parcels from their land holdings for the establishment of a county seat.
14. Avery’s holding lay to the south and Dixon’s to the north, with the Benton County Courthouse marking the approximate line of demarcation between these two land parcels.
15. In December 1853 the 5th Oregon Territorial Legislature met in Salem, where a petition was presented seeking to change the name of that city to either “Thurston” or “Valena”.
16. At the same time, another petition was presented seeking to change the name of Salem to “Corvallis”, from the Latin meaning “heart of the valley”, while a third resolution was presented to the upper house seeking to change the name of Marysville to Corvallis.
17. A heated debate followed, with the name ultimately awarded to Corvallis in an act passed on December 20 of that same year.
18. By way of rationale, the name “Marysville” was successfully argued to duplicate the moniker of a town in California, located on the same stagecoach route and that a name change was thus necessary to avoid confusion.
19. A faction within the deeply divided legislature sought to make Corvallis the capital of the Oregon Territory, and in December 1855 the 6th Territorial Legislature initially convened there before returning to Salem later that month — the town which would eventually be selected as the permanent seat of state government.
20. Corvallis was incorporated as a city on January 29, 1857.